Two Alpharetta residents were sentenced in federal court today, Oct. 17, for their roles in a conspiracy to harbor aliens in violation of the law.
Parmesh Dixit, 41, and Punyapriya Patel, 37, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Julie Carnes.
Dixit is an immigration attorney who made more than $1 million by submitting fraudulent applications for a specialized visa program for executives of foreign companies, said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.
"Our immigration pathways are not for sale, and now Dixit is going to prison,” Yates said.
These defendants falsified labor certification applications to illegally obtain visas for foreign nationals for considerable personal financial gain," said said Richard Walker, Special Agent in Charge for the Atlanta Region of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General.
Dixit was sentenced to 2 years in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to perform 80 hours of community service and forfeit $1.2 million. He pleaded guilty to the charges on May 6.
Patel, whom the Court noted as contributing significant cooperation in the case, was sentenced to 3 years of probation, beginning with 6 months of home confinement. He was also ordered to perform 80 hours of community service, and forfeit $100,000. Patel pleaded guilty to the charges on May 12.
According to Yates, the charges and other information presented in court, lawful visa programs exist through which certain high-level managers in overseas companies can legally come to the United States to work. Dixit conspired with Patel, a paralegal in his law office, with Hitesh Desai, 47, of Duluth, owner of “Intelli Infotek,” a software development and consultant company previously located in Duluth, and with others, to assist aliens seeking visas that would allow them to enter or remain in the United States and work here. Desai and his company were indicted along with Dixit and Patel on Jan. 25. Desai fled the United States and is considered a fugitive.
The evidence showed that Dixit assisted approximately 40 aliens in breaking the law and that he earned $1 million in the scheme.