Indian teacher guilty of ripping off teachers in employment scheme

New York, Jan 21 (IANS) An Indian teacher has been found guilty of a scheme to defraud fellow Indian teachers using an employment scheme, according to federal officials.

Eastern Texas Federal Prosecutor Richard L. Durbin announced on Friday that George Mariadas Kurusu appeared before Federal Magistrate Judge David B. Fannin and admitted his guilt to foreign labour contract fraud, tampering with witness or victim and making false statements on visa application.

Kurusu admitted that from December 2012 to May 2016, he defrauded several teachers out of $50,000 for a “visa package” to get and maintain jobs and H1-B visas in Texas, according to prosecutors.

Several school districts across the US hire teachers from abroad for subjects in which there are not enough qualified Americans and bring them on H1-B visas meant for professionals.

Kurusu was on such a visa and teaching at a school of the Fort Stockton Independent School District (FSISD) in Texas. The prosecutor’s office said in a statement that he set up a company, Samaritan Educational Services (SES), and advertised jobs in FISD in Hyderabad newspapers and when people applied, he made it appear that they had to apply for the jobs through him, according to the statement.

He charged large fees and gave them the impression that they were for the paperwork and not for him while paying only the nominal fees, the statement said.

He used their personal information to create a buffer so that all communications to and from the FSID and the visa application process went through him, according to the statement.

And when the teachers arrived in the US he had them set up bank accounts with electronic transfer of funds provisions that sent 15 per cent of their salaries to the account of SES claiming it was for consultation and for what he claimed was ensuring they had their jobs and visa, the statement said.

When investigations into his scheme began, he told his victims not to cooperate with official and threatened them that all H1-B teachers would lose their jobs, the prosecutors said.