Indian man arrested for running fake marriage racket in US for Visa

WASHINGTON: An Indian man in the US was held for running a fake marriage racket to help illegal immigrants, mostly Indians, to get married to American citizens, so the immigrants can stay in the country.

The 47-year-old Ravi Babu Kolla was arrested in this offence, he was residing in Florida’s Panama city. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 22 at the US Courthouse in Tallahassee.

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

According to the prosecutors, Ravi operated an immigration marriage fraud business between February 2017 and August 2018 that recruited US citizens to marry Indian foreign nationals to gain immigration benefits.

The Department of Justice stated that over 80 fraudulent marriages were identified by the investigation that were performed in Alabama as part of Ravi’s scheme.

Cloud began recruiting US citizens to marry Indian nationals after entering a fraudulent marriage in October 2017. The prosecutors alleged that she recruited 10 or more US citizens from Panama city and rural Calhoun and Jackson Counties.

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