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Va. man behind $20 million H-1B visa fraud faces deportation after prison

By Rachel Weiner December 28 at 10:28 AM 

A Virginia businessman who used shell companies to fraudulently apply for nearly a thousand foreign workers visas will spend 28 months in federal prison and then is likely to be deported to India. His wife is also being sent back and will be accompanied by the couple’s U.S.-born son.

For years, Raju Kosuri ran what prosecutors in Alexandria federal court described as a visa-for-sale system using the H-1B program for specialized foreign workers, making over $20 million in the process. He pleaded guilty last year to visa fraud and making false statements.

President Trump has frequently criticized the H-1B program, at times suggesting he would eliminate it altogether.

Kosuri, 45, initially faced far more prison time as leader of the fraud conspiracy and has forfeited all the money he made from the scheme. U.S. District Judge ­Leonie M. Brinkema said in court Friday that problems with the prosecution of the case led to a more lenient sentence, but that she had to send a message to anyone considering similar malfeasance.

The H-1B visa program “has the potential to yield great financial rewards,” Brinkema said. “The temptation is there.”

Kosuri’s wife, Smriti Jharia, 46, is one of the immigrants he ­illegally sponsored. She pleaded guilty to falsely obtaining naturalization and agreed Friday to move back to India immediately and give up her U.S. citizenship. She said their son, a native U.S. citizen who has never lived in India, will go with her.

Steve McCool, Jharia’s attorney, said his client “was grateful that she was permitted to voluntarily remove herself from the United States. Unfortunately, her son has to pay a heavy price for her criminal conduct.”

Charges against three other defendants allegedly involved in the scheme were dismissed after Brinkema found prosecutors had failed to turn over relevant evidence, according to court records. A sixth defendant was allowed to withdraw her guilty plea; she went to trial this month, and a verdict has not been reached.

“This has been a long and unusual case,” said Kosuri’s attorney, Stuart Sears. “He regrets his conduct, and he and his family have paid a tremendous price.”

Starting in 2000, Kosuri launched over a dozen businesses that claimed to provide information technology services out of Danville, Va. In fact, he admitted, they existed merely as vehicles to get visas for Indian nationals who would actually work elsewhere.

Kosuri, who emigrated from India in 1999 and was a lawful permanent resident, was paid millions by the companies where those visa recipients worked. He also obtained millions in bank financing by misrepresenting his business, as well as a $500,000 grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission. He and his wife tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to win federal contracts through the Small Business Administration for one of the companies.

Seventy-one percent of H-1B visa recipients came from India in 2015, according to a 2016 DHS report. Giant multinational outsourcing firms based in India every year submit tens of thousands of applications for workers in the technology and engineering fields.

“If fraud like [Kosuri’s] becomes too prevalent, the result may be that the H-1B process is severely cut back,” Assistant United States Attorney Jack Hanly wrote in a court filing. “That would be a major setback for those who use the program honestly and benefit from its availability.”

In April, Trump ordered a review of the H-1B program and announced new steps to combat fraud and abuse, including un­announced site visits to companies with a high ratio of workers from the program.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/va-man-behind-20-million-visa-fraud-faces-deportation-after-prison-sentence/2017/12/22/61007138-e729-11e7-833f-155031558ff4_story.html?utm_term=.67992c274abc




涉H-1B簽證詐騙 斂財逾2000萬元 先坐牢再遣返

綜合新聞中心/綜合28日電 2017年12月28日

維吉尼亞州的一名商人長期協助多家公司造假,欺詐申請到近1000份外籍員工簽證,日前被判在聯邦監獄服刑28個月,刑滿後極可能被遣返印度,而他的妻子及在美國出生的兒子也將被即刻遣返。

亞歷珊卓郡(Alexandria)聯邦檢方指出,柯蘇里(Raju Kosuri)多年來始終經營著一個簽證販售系統,利用為特殊外籍雇工提供的H-1B簽證,共斂財逾2000萬元。柯蘇里去年對簽證詐騙和不實陳述罪(making false statements)供認不諱。

川普總統上任以來,頻繁抨擊H-1B簽證發放制度,並且多次透露出計畫大刀闊斧削減簽發數量。

現年45歲的柯蘇里是詐騙的主犯,他最初獲得的量刑包括服刑更長時間以及沒收全部非法所得。

聯邦地區法官萊奧妮·M·布琳克瑪(Leonie M. Brinkema)日前在法庭上表示,本案起訴過程中的一些瑕疵導致最終出現相對較輕的量刑,但是她強調,希望以此向其餘任何試圖犯相似罪行的人傳遞一個警訊。

H-1B工作簽證項目「擁有獲得豐厚經濟回報的潛力」,布琳克瑪說:「其誘惑力顯而易見。」

柯蘇里的妻子蘇芮蒂·加里婭(Smriti Jharia)也是他非法贊助的移民之一,加里婭已在22日認罪,同意立刻搬回印度,並放棄美國公民身分;儘管他們的兒子是美國公民,從未在印度生活過,也將隨加里婭一同回印度。

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2017年, 恐怕正是美国的“万历十五年”


发信人: bighant (bighant), 信区: Military
标 题: 2017年, 恐怕正是美国的“万历十五年”
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Thu Dec 28 21:40:36 2017, 美东)

《万历十五年》这本书中,指出了导致明朝衰败的两大根源:

一是经济体制全面失效

明朝以中小地主及自耕农为主的小农经济为立国基础,在这个经济体制下,整个明朝帝国的宗旨“只是在于使大批人民不为饥荒所窘迫,在勉强温饱的低标准下以维持长治久安。”农业经济虽培育出一个庞大的农村集团,但这个集团内部缺乏组织性,因交通、通讯等的落后难以实现互通有无,加上政府缺乏数目字管理的技术手段,财政税收制度和民间经济发展脱节,国家难以实现有效的经济管理。

二是政治体制陷入僵局

明朝以“四书”中的伦理道德为根本,以文官集团为支柱,道德代替法制和行政来治理国家。其弊端是:一是因循守旧,在整个社会上形成教条主义和根深蒂固的保守思想,一切施政纲领以“成宪”为准绳,过去没有做过的事情现在不允许去做,如万历皇帝在立储问题“废长立幼”的想法和张居正改革。二是道德代替法制和行政,容易造成法制不全滋生腐败,行政低能政府机构运作不畅。铸就文官集团“阳为道德、阴为私利”的“双重性格”。

美国和欧洲从八十年代后期以来,国内政治议题就不再关注国计民生,而是各种“政治正确”的话题,越来越陷入泛道德化的泥潭不可自拔。
以下为引用的文字,分析“白左”占据道德制高点的心理动机:

“左派们如此痴醉于自己的道德高地和对“受害者”身份的塑造,试图塑造正常的市场竞争和社会运行下所谓的“弱势群体”受制度性歧视的叙事已经不能满足他们的需求,
他们必须要从人类最基本的偏好入手,只有听众都认为自己是潜在的犯人的时候,他们才能够利用他人负罪感来获得利益。”

当政治精英们将富裕的生活当做习以为常,忘记国家初创之时艰苦奋斗的历史,就会越来越远离民生疾苦,在道德层面相互竞争,并依靠站在道德制高点上来贬低和打击对手,这既不是中国的特产,也不是在中国达到登峰造极的程度。

美国好不容易出了一个重新关注国计民生的特朗普,政治精英纷纷从道德上抹黑他,还记得竞选之时爆出的特朗普私下谈话中“侮辱女性”的视频吗?公众舆论已经严重偏离治国方略,越来越关注政治家的私人品德了,和明朝后期何其相似!

特朗普上台后,出台任何改革措施都会被政治精英们顶回来。这里不对特朗普的政策是否合理进行评价,但是一个总统想办点实事阻止国家继续下滑,却遭到疯狂反对甚至围攻,今天的美国基本已经陷入否决政治的怪圈,与东林党人热衷于廷议,却什么正事也不干异曲同工。连当年写出《历史的终结》,欢呼民主制度走向最终胜利的福山教授,都在哀叹美国政治陷入衰败。

万历皇帝28年不上朝,你以为他是懒政吗?他也曾经想做一个有为的好皇帝,但是无论干什么事,都会被群臣以各种名义阻止,换成是你,你又当如何?特朗普总统不也一样无法突破重重包围吗?





US Takes Tough Stand Against H-1B 'Abuse'


US H1B/L1 Senate Discussion - Question and Answers Session, Crackdown on H1B Abuse!!!


H1b and OPT abused by consulting firms run naturalized American Indians and green card holders




USCIS: Combating Fraud and Abuse in the H-1B Visa Program

The H-1B visa program should help U.S. companies recruit highly-skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country. Yet, too many American workers who are as qualified, willing, and deserving to work in these fields have been ignored or unfairly disadvantaged. Employers who abuse the H-1B visa program may negatively affect U.S. workers, decreasing wages and opportunities as they import more foreign workers. 

Protecting American workers by combating fraud in our employment-based immigration programs is a priority for USCIS. USCIS continuously works to deter and detect fraud in all immigration programs and we are furthering our efforts by enhancing and increasing site visits, interviews, and investigations of petitioners who use the H-1B visa program. These efforts will help assist in the prosecution of program violators and ensure that American workers are not overlooked or replaced in the process.

Reporting Suspected H-1B Fraud or Abuse

We have established an email address dedicated to receiving information about suspected H-1B fraud or abuse. Anyone (including both American workers and H-1B workers who suspect they or others may be the victim of H-1B fraud or abuse) can email ReportH1BAbuse@uscis.dhs.gov to submit tips, alleged violations, and other relevant information about potential H‑1B fraud or abuse. When submitting information to ReportH1BAbuse@uscis.dhs.gov, please provide the following information in the email:

  • The name of the H-1B petitioning employer/company
  • The address of the employer/company or location of the H-1B worker(s), including the city and state
  • A description of the alleged violation, abuse, or suspected fraud
  • Your email address
  • Your name and phone number (optional)
  • Any other information that may be useful to investigate the alleged fraud or abuse

Individuals are also encouraged to report allegations of employer fraud and abuse by submitting a Form WH-4 to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division. The public may also contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by completing the HSI Tip Form.

H-1B Fraud and Abuse Indicators

Examples of H-1B fraud indicators may include:

  • The H-1B worker is not or will not be paid the wage certified on the Labor Condition Application (LCA).
  • There is a wage disparity between H-1B workers and other workers performing the same or similar duties, particularly to the detriment of U.S. workers.
  • The H-1B worker is not performing the duties specified in the H-1B petition, including when the duties are at a higher level than the position description.
  • The H-1B worker has less experience than U.S. workers in similar positions in the same company.
  • The H-1B worker is not working in the intended location as certified on the LCA.

Protections for H-1B Workers Who Report Suspected Fraud or Abuse

If an H-1B worker reports suspected fraud or abuse, immigration law may provide certain protections to these workers. If an H-1B worker:

  • applies to extend their H-1B status or change their nonimmigrant status,
  • indicates that they faced retaliatory action from their employer because they reported an LCA violation, and
  • lost or failed to maintain their H-1B status,

we may consider this situation to be an instance of ‘‘extraordinary circumstances’’ as defined by sections 214.1(c)(4) and 248.1(b) of Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations. Normally, H‑1B workers are not eligible to extend or change their status if they have lost or failed to maintain their H-1B status. However, if they can demonstrate ‘‘extraordinary circumstances,’’ we may use our discretion to excuse this requirement on a case-by-case basis.

Expansion of Site Visits

Since 2009, we have conducted random administrative site visits to ensure that employers and foreign workers are complying with requirements of the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. We verify H-1B workers’ wages, job duties, and work locations during site visits. This action is not meant to target nonimmigrant employees for any kind of criminal or administrative action but rather to identify employers who are abusing the system. 

We seek to determine if workers are not being paid while in the United States as they wait for projects or work, a practice known as “benching” which violates U.S. immigration laws. We also conduct site visits in cases where there are suspicions of fraud or abuse and refer many of the cases to our counterparts at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for further investigation. 

Starting this month, we will take a more targeted approach focusing on:

  • H-1B-dependent employers (those who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers, as defined by statute);
  • Cases where we cannot validate the employer’s basic business information through commercially available data; and
  • Employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location.

Targeted site visits will also help us determine whether H-1B-dependent employers who normally must meet H-1B recruitment attestation requirements are actually paying their workers the statutorily required salary to qualify for an exemption from these requirements. These site visits will assist in determining if these employers are evading their obligation to make a good faith effort to recruit U.S. workers and to not displace U.S. workers.

Targeted site visits will allow us to focus resources where fraud and abuse of the H-1B program may be more likely to occur. We will also continue to make unannounced and random visits to all H-1B employers across the country, both before and after any petition is adjudicated. 

Promoting Transparency

Transparency about how the H-1B program is being used is vital to ensuring accountability for employers and improving policies and practices that protect American workers. After the H-1B cap filing season for fiscal year (FY) 2018 concludes, USCIS plans to publish a report on the H-1B visa petitions submitted for FY 2018 along with data about the petitions. We also plan to create a web-based, searchable platform for the public to better understand how H-1B visas are being used. 

Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/03/2017


Source: https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-and-fashion-models/combating-fraud-and-abuse-h-1b-visa-program









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