The Indian-American community has often been held up as an example of immigration done right. At over $100,000, Indian-Americans have the highest median household income of any ethnic group in the US. However, in the Seattle area alone, a number of persons of Indian origin have been arrested on criminal charges in 2016. This blog is an attempt to document and name and shame as many of these instances as possible, so that Indian-Americans are aware of these individuals in their midst.Particularly in light of the recent election results, all of us need to be wary and stamp out and expose any illegal behavior we see happening in our communities.
All the data has been collected from public record searches, and we will continue to expand the list as we know of more such instances.
Sumit Virmani (ex-Microsoft director of worldwide health)
According to Kiro7 in its news report on 5/13/2016, “Charges have been filed against additional men – including a director from Microsoft and a former Amazon director – for promoting prostitution after investigators said they met with victims of sex trafficking at high-end Bellevue apartments. One of those charged is Sumit Virmani, the director of worldwide health for Microsoft.Using the names "Appy" and "Jaytee," investigators said Virmani submitted over 70 reviews of prostitutes he had allegedly hired since April 2012, according to investigators.”
According to the Puget Sound Business journal, Virmani was charged with one second-degree count of promoting prostitution, a felony, and pleaded guilty. The recommended sentence for Virmani is 30 days of community service, one year of community custody, a stipulation to attend and complete a Stopping Sexual Exploitation class and a $3,000 fine, according to court records. Read about it here.
We could only find an old picture of Mr. Virmani from a Youtube video, the link to which does not exist any longer. His LinkedIn profile appears to have been deleted as well. He is 43 and lives in Redmond.
Vivek Asthana, (ex-Amazon director of software development, and the man who brought you the Fire TV!). Here’s Kiro7:
“Another man charged is Vivek Asthana. He was the director of software development at Amazon, and spearheaded the company's new FireTV.Asthana used the name "Captain America" when he allegedly hired prostitutes at least 29 times through The Review Board and TheLeague.Net, according to court documents. The tech directors are two of six local men charged late last month in King County Superior Court with promoting prostitution in the second degree – a felony charge.”
The Puget Sound business journal reported in November 2016 that Asthana was sentenced on gross misdemeanor charges for his participation in the prostitution ring. “Judge Theresa Doyle on Friday accepted the state’s recommended sentence of 240 hours of community service, 60 days of house arrest, one year of probation, a $3,000 fine and a 10-week Stopping Sexual Exploitation course.” You can read the full story here.
We were unable to find a picture of Mr. Asthana, and believe he has also deleted his LinkedIn profile. However, MyLife has a few details on him. He is 42 and lives in the Bellevue area. Mr. Asthana has a B.E. from the Delhi Institute of Technology, an MS from Michigan State University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
Runika Tiwari (aka Runika Nandakumar Moni ), realtor at Keller-Williams Bellevue
Runika Tiwari was arrested by the Bellevue Police in January 2016 for assaulting another woman at a cinema theater in Bellevue. As this was not a felony charge it received little to no press coverage, allowing Ms. Tiwari, a realtor with Keller Williams, to maintain a public profile with her own Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Ironically, it appears from these pages that she is involved in a woman’s self-help program called Anvi, run by the India Association of Western Washington.
One wonders if the people at Keller Williams , IAWW and Anvi are aware of this lady’s achievements! She has pleaded not guilty to the charges, but agreed to a “Statement of Continuance” with the city of Bellevue. This means that she agreed to 20 hours of community service (so the next time she is seen at the Anvi community event, she is probably fulfilling those conditions!) and have no contact with her victim for 12 months in return for dismissal of the criminal charges. If she is found in violation of these conditions, she is likely to face criminal prosecution. She is also currently barred from Lincoln Square and Bellevue Square, where the incident occurred.
Ms. Tiwari, 42, is a graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, India.
We believe in highlighting these people as they are part of the community we live in. If we don’t call out and expose the criminal behavior these people have exhibited, they will only be emboldened further and damage the well-earned reputation of the Indian community. We plan to grow this site and document instances of criminal behavior by people of Indian origin. If you have a situation you are aware of, please reach out to us with verifiable documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org. SeattleIndian.com