The second whistleblower retaliation lawsuit filed against Infosys, which I wrote about yesterday, compelled Sen. Charles Grassley to write to the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to request an update on the actions the government is taking to address the alleged violation of U.S. immigration law raised in that lawsuit and in the one filed last year by Jay Palmer.
The full text of the letter, dated Aug. 8, follows:
Dear Attorney General Holder, Secretary Clinton and Secretary Napolitano:
Last February, a lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Lowndes County, Alabama by Jack Palmer, alleging the Infosys Technologies, Ltd. was sending lower level and unskilled foreigners to the United States in direct violation of our visa laws. I write to inquire about the status of the government’s investigation against Infosys, especially in light of new allegations that Infosys has continued to violate immigration law to bring in foreign workers.
On August 2, 2012, Satya Dev Tripuraneni filed suit against Infosys in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Mr. Tripuraneni claims he was retaliated against by managers for exposing Infosys’ illegal practices in hiring foreign workers. According to the complaint, Mr. Tripuraneni was “asked to bring a client into confidence to allow an Infosys resource to come to the United States to work on a B1 (non-immigrant business) visa. Then Plaintiff was asked to persuade the client to agree not to bill a person on site, but rather to bill for dummy resources outside the United States who were not involved in the client’s business.”
Given the new allegation, I am interested in the government’s efforts to investigate fraud of the B-1 visa program and any pending activity with regard to this and previous lawsuits against Infosys. Accordingly, I ask that you provide an update as to the government’s actions in both of the aforementioned matters no later than August 30, 2012.
In the Tripuraneni matter referenced by Sen. Grassley regarding billing for dummy resources, the lawsuit alleges that Tripuraneni “was informed that the practice of acquiring visas for Infosys personnel on the false premise that they would be working in the United States for a client was something that was already done for Cisco, another Infosys client. In those cases, a client manager persuaded the client to bill for dummy offshore resources while the actual resource was in the United States on a B1 visa and working at the client location.”
The lawsuit also alleges that around the same time he discovered the practice of the fraudulent acquisition of visas, Tripuraneni “also became aware that Infosys had been charging clients for taxes over and above the required charge.” In essence, the lawsuit alleges, “Infosys was defrauding its own United States clients by charging them for taxes, a practice reserved for situations in which work was performed by Infosys personnel in other countries, even though U.S. Infosys personnel were involved in serving a United States client.”
Infosys did not respond to a request for comment.