The reverses for the three owners seem to start with the ICE raid on the Georgia restaurant in October , even though the final decision in the case came only this year. That restaurant closed soon thereafter and there is no evidence of the three investing in Georgia again. The next set of troubles came in April , when five corporations associated with Dunkin' Brands zapped the three owners for the same kind of business practices in Virginia that the government had hit them for in Georgia, but this time the timing of the outcome was much swifter.
Nova was sued in federal court by five corporations related to Dunkin' Brands owner of Baskin-Robbins for cheating them on their share of the sales, for cheating state tax authorities, and for cheating workers on over-time pay.
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Further there appeared to be Nova's violations of one of Dunkin' Brands' basic rules — franchisees must tell headquarters when they change their ownership structure and Nova had not informed headquarters of the arrival of the Indian trio. It is not clear to me that headquarters was objecting to the three people, per se , or to the complete lack of notice of their presence as part-owners.
We will never know whether the franchisor would defeat the franchisees in court because the trio and the other two owners who also seem to have Indian names pulled the bankruptcy card. Rather than continue the struggle in court, probably an uphill battle, Nova filed for bankruptcy a few months later and the Dunkin' Brands suit became moot.
This was not the last time that these businessmen would use this tactic. A third blow, a really serious one for the owners, came in when criminal charges were filed against each member of the trio by the U.
Attorney in Virginia's Eastern District for immigration fraud. The charges were identical in each of the cases and stemmed, indirectly, from the conversion of Symmetric Solutions from a software company to a restaurant operation. According to court papers, the three had repeatedly secured H-1B visas primarily if not exclusively for Indians on the grounds that the firm needed software engineers. They then proceeded to turn these workers into waiters and kitchen help at wages well below what had been promised in the H-1B applications.
Strictly speaking there were two indictments. One was for Konda and Goguri, and a parallel document, an "information" similar to an indictment, but filed when there is a plea , for Reddy, who decided to cooperate with the prosecutors in their efforts against the other two in the winter of That led to a plea bargain for Reddy and the extremely light sentence already discussed. A savvier group of exploitative employers would have found that they could have used the H-2B program to recruit waiters and cooks at considerably less expense and with less danger of exposure.
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That program is designed to import low-skill, non-agricultural labor for such jobs. In , the fourth, and so far final, blow arrived when both Konda and Goguri were again charged with immigration fraud. According to the indictments, both had told USCIS during naturalization interviews that they were software engineers when, in fact, they were restaurant operators. Both said that they had secured their green cards legitimately, when in fact they had done so fraudulently, again claiming the wrong occupation.
When neither appeared in court, the judge issued fugitive arrest warrants. Meanwhile, for reasons I do not fully understand, Reddy decided in the summer of to take the bankruptcy route with still another company he owned. He sold the real estate in May , according to Loudoun County tax records. The next month he agreed to a consent order closing the bankruptcy case. What Ultimately Happened to the Four Men? The end game played out differently for the three employers and their Georgia manager.
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None of them, however, was either jailed or deported, despite the substantial documentation obtained by authorities. The oldest and apparently the richest of the four is Reddy, who suffered least from these brushes with the law. He is ensconced in a lovely mansion in an elegant DC suburb, as shown below,. All slaps on the wrist. It is perhaps interesting, if not encouraging, to read the U. Attorney's sentencing memorandum to the judge. It contains this seeming non-sequitur:. Although the defendant [Reddy] has cooperated fully prior to pleading guilty on January 13, , and since that time in post-plea debriefings, on or about January 14, ICE, Department of State, and Department of Labor Agents encountered two illegal aliens living in a home owned by the defendant's company, Symmetric Solutions, and used to house employees.
On or about January 25, , ICE and Department of State Agents administratively arrested five illegal aliens living in a home jointly owned by the defendant, Goguri, and Konda. All the illegal aliens arrested on that date admitted to being employed by Minerva Indian Cuisine in Fairfax, Virginia.
In this case, a sentence in the low-end of the advisory guideline range will promote a respect for the law and deter others from engaging in immigration fraud. Apparently the harboring of seven illegal aliens, and the employment of at least five of them, even after the guilty plea , did not upset these prosecutors very much. His colleagues in so many of these activities, two of whom had equal shares with Reddy in several of these various corporations, did not do as well.
They also had lied about their occupations to the feds, something Reddy apparently did not do. Both Goguri and Konda fled the country in the winter of , or "returned to India", as Reddy put it in a letter to the judge hearing his case. Both of them are probably barred from returning to the United States as long as the fugitive warrants are outstanding. Both, however, may be living in comparative comfort in their homeland. So do Inc. Join us. We're one of the most highly educated places in the U. And our renowned public schools and universities are an important factor for companies and people locating here.
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