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Indian pleads guilty to marriage and visa fraud

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

An Indian national residing in on Thursday pleaded guilty to charges of running a fake marriage racket through which he helped illegal immigrants, mostly Indians, to get married to US citizens, thus facilitating their stay in the country.

The man identified as 47-year-old Ravi Babu Kolla, who was residing in Florida's Panama city, has been detained.

His Sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 22 at the in Tallahassee.

His co-conspirator Krystal Cloud, 40, was sentenced to two years of imprisonment for marriage and visa fraud conspiracy after he pleaded guilty on December 28, 2018. She is a US citizen.

Between February 2017 and August 2018, Kolla operated an immigration marriage fraud business in that recruited US citizens to marry Indian foreign nationals to gain immigration benefits, prosecutors said.

An investigation identified over 80 fraudulent marriages that were performed in as part of Kolla's scheme, the said.

After entering a fraudulent marriage in October 2017, Cloud began recruiting US citizens to marry Indian nationals.

She directly recruited or participated in the recruitment of 10 or more US citizens from and rural and Counties, the prosecutors alleged.

Kolla faces a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy to commit marriage and visa fraud and a maximum of 20 years in prison for money laundering conspiracy.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 15 2019. 00:55 IST