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Charges in Reddy case get specific

By Judith ScherrDaily Planet Staff
Thursday October 26, 2000

The U.S. Attorney released new specific charges Wednesday against Berkeley’s largest landlord and four members of his family charged with fraudulently bringing foreign workers to the country for cheap labor and sex.  

In a letter dated Oct. 19, the attorney states that Lakireddy Bali Reddy, his sons Vijay Kumar Lakireddy and Prasad Lakireddy, his brother Jayprakash Lakireddy and his wife, Annapurna Lakireddy will enter guilty pleas next week. 

The “superseding information” filed Wednesday is far more detailed than the charges filed early last year. It names the persons whom the Reddy family allegedly brought to the United States fraudulently, includes charges against the three other members of the family and adds filing a fraudulent tax statement to the charges Reddy faces. 

Each of the family members is alleged to have helped numerous persons enter the country fraudulently. Reddy is charged with bringing in some two dozen people and is also charged with making false statements on his Income Tax Return. While he claimed he had no interest or authority over financial accounts in another country, in 1998, he had a financial account in India, according to the U.S. Attorney’s documents. 

Reddy’s wife, who will be assisted by a translator when she enters a guilty plea Tuesday, is alleged to have helped 10 persons enter the country fraudulently; his brother, Jayprakash is charged with aiding the entry of three persons; his older son is alleged to have aided nine. The younger son, Vijay is alleged to have aided six persons, most having come in on high-tech visas to work for his Berkeley-based Active Tech solutions and be paid about $43,000 annually. He is accused of bringing a woman to “work without pay as a nanny.”  

New charges mean that persons already arraigned must be newly arraigned, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Vijay Lakireddy was arraigned Wednesday, Reddy will be arraigned today and the three others will be arraigned on subsequent dates. 

The specific charges explain that Reddy, hist two sons and wife would submit fraudulent visa petitions to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, then the four, plus Prasad Lakireddy would arrange for Indian nationals to come into the United States on the basis of the fraudulent petitions. Four among those charged (Prasad Lakireddy is not so charged) would arrange for the Indian nationals to be picked up at the airport and taken to businesses or apartments owned by the defendants. 

Four of the defendants ( Reddy’s wife is not so charged) would employ the illegal immigrants in their businesses – Jay Construction, Reddy Realty and Pasand Restaurants, all in Berkeley – “and would employ these aliens at various times without paying them the minimum wage or overtime premium as required by law.” 

Reddy and Lakireddy are further charged with bringing minor female Indian nationals “for purposes of engaging in illegal sexual activity for defendant Lakireddy Bali Reddy.” 

A hearing on these charges is scheduled in U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong’s Oakland courtroom Monday.