3 Indian-Americans sentenced for student visa fraud


NEW YORK: Three Indian-Americans have been sentenced by a US court to terms ranging from six months of home confinement to to an year in jail for involvement in a USD 7-million student visa fraud scheme.

The Manhattan court sentenced Suresh Hiranandaney, Lalit Chabria and Anita Chabria — all relatives — in the over $7.4-million fraud.

US district judge Paul Oetken sentenced Hiranandaney and Chabria to one year and a day in prison, while Anita was sentenced to six months of home confinement.

The three were also found guilty of having roles in a student financial-aid fraud scheme in which they defrauded the Department of Education of $1 million in grant funds.

“Suresh Hiranandaney, Lalit Chabria, and Anita Chabria exploited our nation’s financial aid and foreign student visa programs, engaging in a long-running fraud scheme that generated millions of dollars,” US attorney Preet Bharara said.

“The defendants greedily took advantage of programmes meant to help people get a higher education, and in the process, committed federal crimes,” he said.

In addition to the prison and home confinement sentences, the three were ordered to forfeit $7,440,000 to the US from the proceeds of their student visa fraud, and pay $1 million in restitution to Department of Education for losses from their student financial aid fraud.


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