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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Khobragade Indicted on Fraud Charges

Today's post was shared by WSJ Law Blog and comes from

Federal prosecutors in New York on Thursday announced the indictment of the Indian official whose arrest last month set off protests in India and strained relations between the nations.

The charges against Devyani Khobragade, though, were delayed amid uncertainty about whether she had fled the country. The consular worker is accused of submitting false documents to get a work visa for a babysitter and housekeeper in her Manhattan home. She has denied all the charges.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, Manhattan prosecutors said that a federal grand jury had voted to return an indictment against the 39-year-old Ms. Khobragade, charging her with two counts — visa fraud and making false statements.

Prosecutors initially said Ms. Khobragade had left the U.S. on Thursday. But they later learned that she may not have gotten on her flight, according to a person familiar with the matter. Her whereabouts were not immediately clear.

The U.S. Marshal’s Office last month said Ms. Khobragade had been strip-searched after she was arrested and “placed in a cell with other female defendants” as part of standard procedure.

Anger over her treatment prompted demonstrations in India and led the Indian government to revoke diplomatic privileges for American officials and remove security barriers near the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.

Attempting to calm the situation, Secretary of State John Kerry last month “expressed his regret, as well as his concern...

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