An Indian American convenience store owner has been arrested on charges of attempting to pay $60,000 to a US government official in bribe to secure a multiple entry visa for his business partner's son.
Jiguveshkumar G Patel was arrested on Wednesday from his store in New Jersey and produced in court before being released on a $50,000 bond secured by property.
If convicted, Patel can get a jail sentence of 15 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
According to the complaint, Patel's business partner's son, who is an Indian citizen, was unable to obtain a visa to travel to the US, the Asbury Park Press newspaper reported.
Patel realised that the daughter of a patron worked for US Immigration. Patel approached the patron and offered to pay his daughter an initial sum of $20,000 and $40,000 later for a visa to get his associate's son into the country.
Patel told an undercover agent, who posed as the patron's daughter, that the partner's son was specifically interested in a multiple visa.
A multiple entry visa allows the holder to depart and re-enter the US on several occasions without having to apply for a new visa each time.