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Immigration scam by Indian busted in US

June 16, 2008 18:28 IST

With the arrest of seven Indians, American authorities have claimed to have busted an immigration racket run by an infotech company owner who charged tens of thousands of dollars from expatriates by fraudulently sponsoring their H-1B work visas.

The alleged kingpin, Nilesh Dasondi, 41, was arrested last week on multiple counts of visa fraud involving his company Cygate Software and Consulting Inc. that runs offices in India and Canada.

A naturalised US citizen, Dasondi, who is also member of the Edison township board in New Jersey, was released after posting a $800,000 bail but must remain under home confinement with electronic monitoring.

According to court papers cited in Newsday daily, Dasondi is accused of filing federal work visa and immigration documents for six people who did not work for his company between 2003 and 2007, authorities said. All the six have been arrested.

In exchange, they made payments to Dasondi's company of more than $850,000, authorities said. The money was used to support phony payroll disbursements back to the people, fund tax payments and, in some cases, pay for health insurance, authorities said.

Dasondi, however, kept the remainder of the cash after the so-called 'running the payroll' scheme for himself, the officials were quoted as saying by the daily.

Three bank accounts in the name of Cygate were seized by federal authorities. A fourth account in the name of another company Dasondi controlled was also frozen, authorities said.

Among those arrested were 42-year-old Kishor Parikh, Devang Patel, 31, and 40-year-old Chetan Trivedi.

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