CLEVELAND -- Federal officials said a A Brecksville man forfeited $1 million Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to hire undocumented workers.
Ravindra Telluri, 42, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Dan Aaron Polster. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 9.
According to the terms of his plea agreement, Telluri paid $1 million to the United States to satisfy the forfeiture based upon the proceeds he received as a result of his criminal activity.
Federal officials said Telluri is a lawful permanent resident of the United States and a citizen of India.
He agreed to withdraw his application to obtain United States citizenship by naturalization and agreed to no longer work in any employment position involving the recruiting or hiring of undocumented workers.
Between January 1, 2008 and October 14, 2010, Telluri was the sole owner and operator of two information technology firms, Hytech Consulting, Inc., and InterOne Corp., both companies located in Seven Hills.
The firms hired and then placed computer programmer analysts at client firms to serve as computer consultants. The two companies were subsequently sold and Telluri is no longer an owner or operator, according to the information.
During the time period charged in the criminal information, Telluri engaged in a conspiracy with two unindicted co-conspirators in India to recruit and hire citizens of India to come to the United States as temporary specialty occupation workers in the area of information technology as computer programmer analysts, according to the information.
"We will continue to prosecute those employers who would hire undocumented workers," U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach said.
Federal laws permit companies to recruit and hire qualified temporary specialty occupation workers utilizing H-1b visas issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
As part of the process, there must exist an actual position for the person to be hired and a Labor Condition Application from the Department of Labor certifying that hiring a temporary alien worker at the location of the employment will not adversely affect the existing workforce in that geographic area of the country.
It was part of the conspiracy that Telluri was aware at the time of hiring undocumented workers that false documentation purportedly from client companies previously had been submitted as part of the process of submitting petitions for issuance of H-1b visas, and that as a result, he hired workers who were not lawfully authorized to be so employed, according to the information.