U.S.: 5 Indians Charged With Visa, Financial Schemes Fraud

Friday, 30 May 2014, 11:27 Hrs
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NEW YORK:Five Indians have been arrested and charged with participating in a wide-ranging student visa and financial aid fraud schemes in the U.S.

Suresh Hiranandaney (60), Lalit Chabria (54), Anita Chabria (49), Seema Shah (41) and Samir Hiranandaney (27) face student visa fraud, wire fraud and student financial aid fraud and were presented before US Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein in Manhattan federal court here on Thursday.

The charges carry prison time from five to 20 years.

"Through their for-profit schools, the defendants defrauded the government and exploited their students. For their personal financial gain, the defendants allegedly made false certifications about the schools' compliance with visa and financial aid regulations when, in fact, they were not," Manhattan federal prosecutor Preet Bharara said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge James Hayes said the defendants allegedly "orchestrated a wide ranging fraud scheme, which included the falsification of student and financial aid files and failure to report to the government students who were non-compliant with the terms of their student visas, that victimized American taxpayers."

According to the complaint, the five were associated with for-profit school Micropower Career Institute (MCI) which had five campuses in New York and New Jersey, as well as with the Institute for Health Education (IHE).

Suresh Hiranandaney was MCI's president, his sister Anita Chabria was MCI's vice president, his brother-in-law Lalit was MCI's vice president and IHE's president.

Suresh's son Samir was a director at MCI campus while Shah was a high-level employee at MCI's Manhattan campus.
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Source: PTI
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