U.S. expands H-1B fraud case against IT services firm
Computerworld - The U.S. government late last month filed a new, expanded 18-count indictment that now seeks $4.9 million from a New Jersey IT services firm it has accused of fraudulently using H-1B visas.
The government alleges that South Plainfield, N.J.-based Vision Systems Group Inc. paid its H-1B workers in multiple states based on low prevailing wage rates in Iowa through the creation of shell businesses in that state.
The indictment charges that the methods used by Vision Systems "have substantially deprived U.S. citizens of employment."
The initial 10-count indictment against Vision Systems, filed on Feb. 12, was part of a government investigation dubbed Operation Pacific Vision that led to the arrest of 11 people in six states on H-1B fraud charges.
Court documents show that the expanded indictment cut the amount sought by $2.5 million; no explanation for the reduction was given. But it is still the largest H-1B fraud case ever brought by the government.
The figure "represents he total amount of gross proceeds obtained as a result of offenses," according to the indictment.
Vision Systems and its executives are fighting the charges in U.S. District Court in Iowa.
"Workers were paid at or above the prevailing wage rates of the places that they were working," Mark Weinhardt, a Des Moines attorney and a member of the legal team representing the company, contended last week.
Visions Systems' defense has not yet been outlined but is hinted at in the indictment papers.
According to prosecutors, Vision Systems told its H-1B hires that green cards could be obtained more quickly from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices located outside of New Jersey.
Thus, Vision Systems might claim that it has been using the faster service available at the Iowa ICE offices as a recruiting tool for H-1B workers interested in getting green cards quickly.
Weinhardt did note that the defense team believes that the "indictment is based on a number of misconceptions about immigration law and procedure."
Read more about Government IT in Computerworld's Government IT Topic Center.
This state transportation department uses computer science students from a local university as programming interns, and everyone is happy with the arrangement -- until one intern learns how to bring down the mainframe.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Why Projects Fail
- CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings
- This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools
- The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution
- In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence... All Government IT White Papers
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the...
- Endpoint Data Management: Protecting the Perimeter of the Internet of Things Not surprisingly, "Internet of Things" (IoT) and Big Data present new challenges AND opportunities for enterprise IT. Teams need to harness, secure and...
- How to Protect Enterprise Data Yet Enable Secure Access for End Users Learn how BYOD, Big Data and the use of rogue applications and devices is putting corporate data at risk, best practices from IT...
- All Government IT Webcasts