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US: Indian imprisoned for immigration fraud

January 23, 2007 12:11 IST

A US court has sentenced an Indian national to 20 months in prison for fraudulently assisting hundreds of immigrant aliens to live and work illegally in the United States.

Sentencing 36-year old Narendra Mandalapa, US District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise also ordered forfeiture of $ 5.7 million and two model luxury cars which, he ruled, represented proceeds of Mandalapa's crimes.

The judge also slapped a fine of $ 25,000 on Mandalapa.

Mandalapa, who was arrested on November 3, 2005 on a criminal complaint, had pleaded guilty to a single count of immigration fraud on June 19 last year. He has been in prison since then.

The indictment charged him with attempting to fraudulently lead the Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services to approve at least 250 immigration petitions, which makes an alien worker eligible to become a lawful resident the United States.

Mandalapa admitted that he had received up to $ 22,000 from aliens for filing the fraudulent documents and labour certification, the US Attorney's office said.

A labour certification is generally given by the employer who certifies that no qualified United States workers are available and willing to accept the position sought.

Mandalapa was owner and president of Cybersoftee, a business consulting company based in Edison which is inhabited predominantly by the Indian community.

The attorney's office said he had falsely claimed that his company had paid federal income tax during 2003 and 2004, Prosecutors said he failed to file federal tax returns for the these years.

Dharam Shourie in Newark
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