Reddy wants lighter jail sentence

Kurtis Alexander
Friday October 04, 2002

OAKLAND – The U.S. District Court is considering reducing the prison term of wealthy Berkeley landlord Lakireddy Bali Reddy. 

Reddy is serving his first of an eight year sentence for smuggling teenage girls from India into the United States for prostitution and cheap labor. Lawyers for Reddy say they are petitioning the court to shave nearly two years off his prison term because of new information revealed after his June 2001 sentencing. 

In October of 2001, federal prosecutors said court interpreter Uma Rao had encouraged four of the six victims to embellish testimony against other Reddy family members involved in the illegal immigration ring. 

Sept. 18 court papers filed by Reddy’s attorney Ted Cassman argue that Rao’s agenda to fabricate testimony is reason to trim Reddy’s sentence by 19 months. 

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken is expected to rule any day on Cassman’s request.  

Next month, Reddy’s son Vijay Lakireddy, who pleaded guilty to one count of visa fraud, is scheduled for sentencing. 

Reddy’s younger son, Prasad Lakireddy, still awaits trial on charges of illegally importing girls to the country for “immoral purposes.” 

Reddy’s brother and sister-in-law, Jayaprakash and Annapurna Lakireddy, each pleaded guilty to one count of visa fraud. Neither was sentenced to prison time.