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The Sopranos Meet H-1B In New Jersey 324

Posted by kdawson
from the know-guys-who-know-guys dept.
theodp writes "We smack this IT geek around a little, take him for a nice car ride, threaten to 'take care of him' if he doesn't recant his story, give him 5 G's for his trouble, and badda boom, badda bing, case dismissed. Federal prosecutors allege that an H-1B visa-holding IT employee who was owed some $53,000 in back wages was threatened in meetings at restaurants and in his home if he didn't change his story. However, the victim captured some of what happened on tape, and two employees of an Illinois-based IT staffing company — not named in the indictment but identified by the NJ Star-Ledger as ComData Consulting Inc. of Rolling Meadows, IL — are now facing extortion-related charges and a possible 20 years in prison."
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The Sopranos Meet H-1B In New Jersey

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  • Re:Unacceptable (Score:3, Informative)

    by sznupi (719324) on Sunday April 18, 2010 @08:33PM (#31891380) Homepage

    You noticed that the story is about US locals doing those thing to alien working for them, right?

  • Re:Unacceptable (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2010 @08:54PM (#31891502)

    You noticed that the story is about US locals doing those thing to alien working for them, right?

    Yes, the US locals Trinath Chigurupati and Sateesh Yalamanchili were the ones who did this. If the guy you replied to had bothered to read the article he would have known that!

  • by QRDeNameland (873957) on Sunday April 18, 2010 @08:55PM (#31891508)
    I heard they're going to change their name to Webistics [youtube.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2010 @09:16PM (#31891636)

    ...URL is:

    . http://www.desicrunch.com/DisplayReviews.aspx?company=Comdata_Consulting_Inc [desicrunch.com]

    Hey Fed's, you listening?

  • by Rick Zeman (15628) on Sunday April 18, 2010 @09:16PM (#31891638)

    Under Illinois law, you can only audio record if all parties are made aware of the recording. If this guy was recording surreptitiously, then he might be in for some legal trouble of his own, not to mention that the recording may or may not be admissible (IANAL).

    If you RTFA you'd see a) it was NJ, not Illinois and b) On Feb. 4, the two men met him again at a restaurant and offered to pay $5,000 for him to recant his story, authorities said, adding the consultant had gone to federal authorities by then and was outfitted with a hidden recorder that captured every threat.

  • Re:Free Market (Score:5, Informative)

    by SteveFoerster (136027) <steve AT stevefoerster DOT com> on Sunday April 18, 2010 @09:18PM (#31891660) Homepage

    Good examples, but FYI the word "née" works the other way around.

  • by beadfulthings (975812) on Sunday April 18, 2010 @09:22PM (#31891682) Journal

    This is fascinating in light of the recent lawsuit [npr.org] filed and won in Louisiana on behalf of a group of teachers from the Philippines who were brought here to teach and virtually held hostage by the agency that recruited them. (They won their lawsuit a few days ago--can't recall the more recent source.) Their visas were held by the recruiter as they were squeezed for ever-increasing fees, forced to rent substandard housing at exorbitant rates, and otherwise abused.

    It's especially fascinating to me that in these recessionary times when recent American college graduates can't find work, we have to import elementary and high school teachers and people with the most basic IT skills so that they can be held in indentured servitude and squeezed for more and more money. I guess human trafficking is no longer limited to unskilled workers.

  • Re:Free Market (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gorbag (176668) on Sunday April 18, 2010 @09:50PM (#31891856)
    Even staunch libertarians don't condone fraud.
  • by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Sunday April 18, 2010 @09:54PM (#31891874)

    > Try Googling "human trafficking". I think you'll find that many undocumented immigrants live under conditions little better than slavery.

    Close. Actually, I think you'll find that many undocumented immigrants live in conditions of slavery. To the extent where the only real distinction is that the law--which they don't know anyway--says that it's illegal.

    You'll also find that hundreds of thousands of American teens are at high risk for being kidnapped or tricked into a life of slavery. Sources: The Polaris Project [polarisproject.org], Terry Lee Wright's River of Innocents [riverofinnocents.com], Victor Malarek's The Natashas.

    Not that we should care whether it's an immigrant or not. And the difference in the cultures of different immigrant groups make different techniques useful in finding and prosecuting human traffickers. But it's not really an immigrant problem, so much as a human one.

  • Yes and no. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Sunday April 18, 2010 @10:02PM (#31891906)

    > This behavior is unacceptable from companies that have offices in America. That might be how people do business in other places, but they need to leave that shit at the door.

    I agree. We have to change it. But it's not just a foreign problem.

    This is New Jersey. If you haven't heard a story about something like this happening in New Jersey, you haven't been listening. It's like not hearing a story about questionable behavior by waste contractors in several of the nation's major cities, or not hearing about racism on the part of law enforcement in some towns in the South. Sure, there are lots of legitimate businesspeople, and waste contractors, and helpful law enforcement officers. But the other kinds also exists and even thrives. Sure, sometimes its people bringing in their problems, but we have a lot of our own.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2010 @10:56PM (#31892188)
    For a very graphic, but eye-opening look at what domestic abuse can be like, take a read though this book [blogspot.com]. Disclaimer: I am a friend of the author, but I had no idea it could be as bad as this book makes it out to be. It's written by someone who deals with domestic abuse situations every day, and says that the book is toned down compared to what really goes on.
  • The reason why (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 18, 2010 @10:58PM (#31892198)

    > Good examples, but FYI the word "née" works the other way around.

    You are correct, but you didn't explain it, and I think people will have a hard time remembering how it works if they don't know. The word née means "born" so it's like you're giving the birth name of a person. That's why you list their original name after the word née, e.g. Xe (née Blackwater).

  • Re:Let it begin (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rasperin (1034758) on Sunday April 18, 2010 @11:04PM (#31892242)

    try talking about changing the h1b visa laws so that h1b visa holders can change companies when they want to Umm, they can.

    If the next company sponsors them, if they don't (it costs quite a bit) they can't. The worker also can't just up and quit his job like you and me either as they're isn't a grace period. Complaints usually end in a quick termination and then the person has a short period to be on the next flight back to home. Try filing a lawsuit while in a different country and not even being a citizen. It's a difficult situation. On the same note, I agree with making h1b's harder to get and more lax once you get them (aka a grace period of atleast 90days, higher wages based on average salary for similar positions, etc).

  • Re:Let it begin (Score:1, Informative)

    by Rasperin (1034758) on Sunday April 18, 2010 @11:08PM (#31892276)
    No, you are quite wrong. While the average birthrate for white citizens is below average population growth, the blacks are reproducing on average at 4.5 children per male and female adults (meaning twice the population growth). Ignoring latina's is like 3.something. We have a growing population count without immigration.http://flagcounter.com/factbook/us
  • man!.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by tanveer1979 (530624) on Sunday April 18, 2010 @11:54PM (#31892528) Homepage Journal

    you actually have no idea about the level of corruption in "developing countries". There may be lot of sh!t going at top level, but at grassroots level the level of corruption in US is not even a small % of what goes on in countries like India. I live there, so I know.
    Heck, to repair my phone line I was asked for a bribe directly, ad if you want a new electricity connection, be prepared to pay big.
    And guess what, in the west you have to bribe to get something "Wrong" done, in India you have to bribe for the right thing too!

  • Re:Free Market (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 19, 2010 @12:10AM (#31892602)
    Whatever the reason was for the name change, Andersen Consulting was indeed a *former* subsidiary (a spin off) of Arthur Andersen. In fact long before 2000, Arthur Andersen was suing Andersen Consulting because Andersen Consulting (originally, the original IT consulting arm of Arthur Andersen) had gone into Management Consulting (the original province of its former parent company) and Andersen Consulting was using the name confusion between the two to its own advantage.
  • Re:Let it begin (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nadaka (224565) on Monday April 19, 2010 @01:07AM (#31892890)

    In my grandfathers day, a bagboy's salary+tips was enough to support support an adult frugally. A clerk at a corner store could expect to support a small family (essentially the same as working at a 7/11).

    Now? A typical wal-mart employee working full time at minimum wage +$0.25 to $2 can pay rent on a 1 bedroom apartment, pay the electric bill and if lucky some food with nothing left for other necessities. Unless you already own a home outright or want to rent space in a crack house, you can not live on that without help. Realistically, it would take about 3 such incomes to support a family with children and that does not count the cost of child care or saving for college/retirement.

  • Re:Free Market (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 19, 2010 @02:15AM (#31893192)

    née is used to indicate a women's family name, are you sure it may be used in this context? Did those companies get married?

  • by Nathrael (1251426) <nathraelthe42nd@ ... inus threevowels> on Monday April 19, 2010 @04:44AM (#31893718)

    You should stop worrying about other peoples plights so much, you'll live longer.

    I hope you are aware that it were the people who *did* care are also the ones responsible for your right to actually spout that garbage of yours.

  • Re:Let it begin (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 19, 2010 @06:37AM (#31894138)

    Very good comment,
    US minimum wage has halved over the past 30 years (Because of ~400% inflation, see wiki) and is now on its way back up.
    Kids can expect to earn less than their parents despite being higher educated.
    The inflation also causes all life savings to be halved over time leaving no wealth in the population only debt.

    Your statement is spot on so blame the FED not H1-B for falling wealth standards.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Monday April 19, 2010 @07:35AM (#31894316)

    Another examle:

    Vision Systems Group Indicted for H1B Visa Fraud

    http://www.huliq.com/3257/77441/vision-systems-group-indicted-h1b-visa-fraud [huliq.com]

  • Re:Free Market (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 19, 2010 @08:12AM (#31894474)

    For the record, Anderson Consulting was legally obligated to change its name. Also, this happened before the Enron scandal and was not the entity involved in said scandal -- that was Arthur Anderson.

  • Re:man!.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 19, 2010 @08:17AM (#31894506)

    My mum is from India and when I visited last year, I heard about the bribes she had to pay for an electric connection for the new house we build in her ancestral village.

    We are still waiting for a link to the water mains (bribes included) and have not bothered with a land phone line as that includes more bribes and we mostly used mobile phones anyway.

    My parents were willing to pay market rates for a couple of people to come and cut the grass in the garden there. The local workers refused, giving excuses while hoping for more pay.

    My dad got pissed off enough to buy a grass cutting machine from Singapore and used it himself when he was in India with my mum for a holiday.

    The very next day the labourers were willing to start cutting grass - for market rates.

    The house they build is currently almost 5 years old, and yet there are still some minor carpentry work outstanding with contractors still giving excuses. This just made my dad do most of the stuff himself (him being a handy man by nature).

    In the end, right now, my dad has better gear there then most of the local contractors / workers because of the shennigans they try to pull. And whenever my dad gets pissed off, guess they ain't getting work and he does it all himself.

    The whole society there is corrupt - and they almost always try to squeeze out as much as they can, and as long as they think they can get away with it / are in a position of (no matter how minor) power.

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