Twin brothers get prison for visa scheme

December 14, 2009 5:04:30 PM PST
Twin brothers from Brownsville have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a fraudulent visa scheme that raked in about $1.8 million and illegally brought 88 people to the U.S. from India. U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas in Houston sentenced Alberto Pena to nearly 3 1/2 years in prison and Bernardo Pena to 2 1/2 years in prison after they were found guilty by a jury. The 40-year-olds sold temporary H-2B visas for at least $20,000 a piece to residents of Gujarat, India, with the help of co-conspirators.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says the Indians were issued visas under the pretense that they would be providing manual labor for a Louisiana construction company, but none of them worked there.

Three co-conspirators are set to be sentenced Wednesday. A fourth remains a fugitive.