Nine K-State Students Indicted For Visa Fraud

TOPEKA, KAN. – According to U.S. Attorney, Barry Grissom, Nine students from Nepal attending Kansas State University have been indicted on charges of visa fraud.

A grand jury indictment, unsealed Tuesday, alleges the students conspired to maintain their non-immigrant visas by making false statements that they possessed adequate funds to pursue their proposed course of study and support themselves and their dependents.

The indictment alleges that beginning in the fall of 2008, all nine students obtained temporary possession of financial resources for the purpose of obtaining statements from financial institutions to support their false claims that each personally had the needed funds. Each of the students borrowed funds from fellow Nepalese students and deposited the funds in their bank accounts. After obtaining a notarized bank letter, they returned the funds to the other students.

If convicted, each of the defendants faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. The Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Hathaway is prosecuting.

Named in the indictment are:

Mahendra Thapa, 33, who is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and one count of visa fraud.
Khem Acharya, 41, who is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and four counts of visa fraud.
Raj Kumar Dani, 37, who is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and three counts of visa fraud.
Santosh Ghimire, 37, who is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and one count of visa fraud.
Lila Ballav Pandey, 41, who is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and four counts of visa fraud.
Laxman Pokhrel, 37, who is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and two counts of visa fraud.
Keshar Prasain, 38, who is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and four counts of visa fraud.
Govind Paneru, 32, who is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and three counts of visa fraud.
Narayan Chapagain, 43, who is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and three counts of visa fraud.