Four executives of two information technology staffing companies have been arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, for fraudulently using the H-1B visa program to gain an unfair advantage over competitors. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The defendants allegedly used staffing companies to recruit foreign nationals and sponsor them for H-1B visas. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to expedite their visa applications, they filed H-1B applications falsely asserting that the foreign workers/beneficiaries had already secured positions at another company when in reality no such positions existed. Instead, the defendants used the fraudulent applications to build a “bench” of job candidates already admitted to the United States who could then be hired out immediately to client companies without the need to wait for visa application processing, giving the defendants an advantage over their competitors in the staffing industry, USCIS said.