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Bay Area Tech Executives Indicted For H-1B Visa Fraud (mercurynews.com) 253

New submitter s.petry quotes a report from The Mercury News: Two Bay Area tech executives are accused of filing false visa documents through a staffing agency in a scheme to illegally bring a pool of foreign tech workers into the United States. An indictment from a federal grand jury unsealed on Friday accuses Jayavel Murugan, Dynasoft Synergy's chief executive officer, and a 40-year-old Santa Clara man, Syed Nawaz, of fraudulently submitting H-1B applications in an effort to illegally obtain visas, according to Brian Stretch, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California. The men are charged with 26 counts of visa fraud, conspiracy to commit visa fraud, use of false documents, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, according to prosecutors. Each charge can carry penalties of between two and 20 years in prison. Prosecutors say the men used fraudulent documents to bring workers into the U.S. and create a pool of H-1B workers to hire out to tech companies. The indictment charges that from 2010 to 2016, Dynasoft petitioned to place workers at Stanford University, Cisco and Brocade, but the employers had no intention of receiving the foreign workers named on the applications. Nawaz submitted fake "end-client letters" to the government, falsely claiming the workers were on-site and performing jobs, according to the indictment.

Slashdot reader s.petry adds: "While not the only problem with the H-1B Visa program, this is a start at investigating and hopefully correcting problems."

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Bay Area Tech Executives Indicted For H-1B Visa Fraud

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  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @09:05PM (#54131997)
    thanks. needed a new password.
  • Let it begin! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I've been waiting for the Trump administration to get to the H1Bs.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The US attorney who filed the indictment was appointed in March of 2016 by Obama. Now that he's called attention to himself, Trump will probably fire him.

    • Re:Let it begin! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @01:07AM (#54132907) Homepage Journal

      The fraudulent applications would have been people who were not qualified for the H1B program and effectively took a slot away from a qualified foreign worker. My guess is someone in India willing to fork over money to these guys stole a job from some college grad in India. The college grad might have actually be able to rise up and take jobs away from an American citizen. An incompetent fraud is not likely to hold down a job for long before being replaced. Which do you think is the bigger threat to American workers?

      • by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @07:06AM (#54133615)

        took a slot away from a qualified foreign worker. My guess is someone in India willing to fork over money to these guys stole a job from some college grad in India.

        So now they're stealing American jobs from Indians in India? Mother fuckers!

    • Yea right. The chances are once the H-1 problem is fixed the skills American will have to do the job at H-1 rate.
      Companies don't want well paid middle class. They want rich executives that they can play golf with. Or the poor or near poor working class.
      Us tech guys who are educated, experience and have our fingers on the companies vital components are a thorn in their plans.

  • We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism.
    • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @09:38PM (#54132189) Journal

      I think you have misunderstood these people's crimes.

      Their real crime was that their illegal enterprise was too small.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      LOL. Your government is owned by globalist corporations. Clean out your headgear.

    • by Desler ( 1608317 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @09:49PM (#54132257)

      By electing a president of a multinational corporation who staffed his cabinet with globalist billionaires? Yeah, sure, bro.

      • None of them are in tech, though. Why should bankers and oil guys care about hurting silicon valley?
        • by speedplane ( 552872 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @02:09AM (#54133057) Homepage

          None of them are in tech, though. Why should bankers and oil guys care about hurting silicon valley?

          Their anti-science stance (e.g., 20% cut to NIH funding), will have ripple effects throughout silicon valley.

      • > By electing a president of a multinational corporation who staffed his cabinet with globalist billionaires? Yeah, sure, bro.

        So you think we're better off with a corrupted middleman ?

        Meh.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      1. The investigation that led to this started during Obama's presidency, has nothing to do with Trump.
      2. Trump is a multi-millionaire or billionaire, many of the people he's appointed are similarly wealthy people. He's also appointed former top level Goldman Sachs employees. Steve Bannon also worked for Goldman Sachs.
      3. I do hope he keeps this promise in regards to H1B visas, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
      4. "Globalism" is a dog whistle for anti-immigration, anti-NATO, anti-EU, and anti-rich people with any

      • Nice of you to throw Jews in there so you can subtly claim they're all Nazis.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          No it's true! Either you are with Globalization or you are a literal Nazi. There is no middle ground.

          That system that caused two world wars, the great depression, created and expands the wealth gap, continues to support and expand human trafficking, international terrorism, and the global financial crisis...yeah if you oppose that you are a literal Nazi.

          Oddly the reason why the German National Socialist Party was elected was to solve the problems globalization caused Germany during the great depression, suc

      • The Difference (Score:3, Informative)

        by SuperKendall ( 25149 )

        He's also appointed former top level Goldman Sachs employees.

        The difference is that some of Trump's people USED to be paid by Goldman Sachs.

        Hillary (and Obama) were ACTIVLEY BEING PAID by Goldman Sachs.

        Just do a quick search at how much GS has contributed to Hillary (~$1 million [opensecrets.org]) vs. Trump ($0 [marketwatch.com]).

    • We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism.

      Oh, come on. Sure we will. People generally think whatever their preferred media outlets tell them to think.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is anyone surprised given their names? People that grew-up outside of the US just aren't exposed to our moral and ethical systems. Every Indian or Pakistani I've worked for has broken the law. They just don't care.

    • Man! Growing up in the Mid-west I've been ripped off by white Americans more often than any other race or nationality. It might have to do with all the used car salesmen in Michigan, and shady mechanics that will swap in refurbished parts but charge you for OEM if they think you're not a "car guy".

      The lesson is more about you shouldn't trust business people, rather than race XYZ has a culture that doesn't respect the law. What you're actually thinking of is business culture.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @09:38PM (#54132183)

    The "alleged" behavior is wrong in so many ways it's hard to even know where to begin. Damaged parties include the US government,
    the LEGAL US workers who didn't get jobs because of these swine, the illegally "imported" workers who were quite likely screwed by
    the perpetrators skimming significant percetages of their wages, etc.

    It's a shame these pieces of shit couldn't just be stoned to death as a public example.

  • by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @09:53PM (#54132275) Homepage
    Why does TFS go out of its way to tell us that Syed Nawaz is 40, while not mentioning how old Jayavel Murugan is. Is there something significant about being 40 that I'm missing?
    • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

      Maybe it implies that he's likely to be in prison for the rest of his life. I hope so.

    • by necro81 ( 917438 )

      Why does TFS go out of its way to tell us that Syed Nawaz is 40, while not mentioning how old Jayavel Murugan is. Is there something significant about being 40 that I'm missing?

      Ah, see, that's called editing. We don't do that here.

  • by Narcocide ( 102829 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @09:54PM (#54132283) Homepage

    That's not even a dent in this problem. Laundering H1B visas is the mainstay of the IT industry.

    • I think you need to look past this to see other interpretations.

      1) Sacrificial lambs? The real beneficiaries of H1Bs are much bigger than this and rather than see the goose that laid the golden egg killed, some fall guys at the fringe were necessary to promote the idea that visa abuse is prosecuted, everyone else is following the law, etc.

      2) Eliminate competition -- these two guys were undermining someone else's business and were seen as a thorn in their side. It's like a drug dealer calling the cops on a

  • Is this news? (Score:4, Informative)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @10:48PM (#54132499)
    I'm wondering if this is actually news (e.g. that enforcement is starting to happen) or if this has been going on and just not reported? H1-B visa fraud is nothing new. There's videos on youtube with lawyers talking about strategies to game the system. I've known people laid off and promptly replaced by H1-Bs, which by definition is illegal since there was already a qualified American.

    So I gotta ask, is this really news? Or just reporting?
    • by chiguy ( 522222 )

      You, like everyone here, get the general intent of the H-1B program correct, but you miss the legal loophole that tech companies put in. It requires companies to prove they're not displacing American workers OR pay H-1B holders $60,000. Guess which option companies choose?

      https://www.theatlantic.com/bu... [theatlantic.com]

      "In 1998—during the tech bubble—lawmakers amended the law to provide more visas at the request of the growing tech industry. At the same time, legislators cracked down on outsourcing companies t

      • Salaries have NOTHING to do with it. It's about having people who cannot collectively bargain or say anything about dumb management. Or just walk out the door on a whim because their job sucks. It's about freedom. And guess what people are called when they don't have it? I'll give ya a hint. It's not "employees". Give them green cards, or any arguments you make are lies.
        • Salaries have NOTHING to do with it...

          Hmm... You aren't logical here. Why there are many people here complaining about cheap labor of H1B?

          Salaries are also a part of reasons why they do it asides from the management point of view. It is easy to hire employees whom can be discarded after 6 years without paying any benefits on top of their salaries. If you own a tech company and want to hire Americans, do you think they want to come to work for you if you can't offer them the salaries+benefits they want? The more experience they have (or think th

          • Hmm... You aren't logical here. Why there are many people here complaining about cheap labor of H1B?

            Because they are stupid or uninformed. A queen bee is the best fed bee in the hive. In many species it also has the most miserable life because it has to carry all the children. See where I am going with this?

          • If you own a tech company and want to hire Americans, do you think they want to come to work for you if you can't offer them the salaries+benefits they want?

            No, I think they want to come work because they love tech. And I mean really, really love tech. If they are smart enough to compete on equal footing with indentured servants, they do something else (unless they really love what they do and are willing to tolerate much lower social status harsher work conditions in order to do what they love).

            • No, I think they want to come work because they love tech. And I mean really, really love tech. If they are smart enough to compete on equal footing with indentured servants, they do something else (unless they really love what they do and are willing to tolerate much lower social status harsher work conditions in order to do what they love).

              Are you really serious??? You may need to look at this again from business instead of from personal point of view...

        • they come ready-trained in whatever obscure tech you want them to be. And that training was _cheap_.
    • by rhazz ( 2853871 )
      I don't think this follows the usual narrative of H1-B abuse that most tech companies are doing. What I see most people complaining about is general abuse of what the perceived purpose of the system is, however most of that abuse is perfectly legal within the framework because people have discovered useful loopholes. The idiots in this story were blatantly lying and forging documents.
      • I don't think this follows the usual narrative of H1-B abuse that most tech companies are doing. What I see most people complaining about is general abuse of what the perceived purpose of the system is, however most of that abuse is perfectly legal within the framework because people have discovered useful loopholes. The idiots in this story were blatantly lying and forging documents.

        You don't really know much about the abuse, do you? Most of them (staffing companies) do forging documents at a certain degree. It is just that this one got caught. Small companies (and may be inexperience) like this don't cover their track well...

        • by rhazz ( 2853871 )

          You don't really know much about the abuse, do you?

          I know what I've seen discussed here, and that is usually a case of outsourcing an IT function currently provided by employees to an American outsourcing firm, which itself has H1-Bs. That is apparently legal. I don't buy your assertion that the companies getting away with abuse are forging documents, otherwise we'd see more stories like this, and not about people training their replacements and then losing their job.

  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @11:57PM (#54132723) Homepage

    Indictments are one thing, but actual scalps are another.

  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2017 @07:45AM (#54133709) Journal
    It won't "end" until H1B visas are substituted for a different type of visa: an alien resident visa (aka a "Green Card"). H1B program is meant to bring skilled workers to the country. If they can't leave their employers on a whim, they are not employees. They are indentured servants. Their path to citizenship is delayed by 4-5 years. Some even feel entitled at the end of that hazing path to pick up the whip to become the "master". Those two are likely the result of this. End their second-class-citizens status or you'll never solve the "not enough people pursue careers in tech" problem. It's not about salaries. It's about endemic lowering of the work-place status of the people in tech. It has all the glory of a mailroom, just with more money.
  • Now its time to indict the rest of them.
  • Obligatory "indicted [youtu.be]" reference.

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