U.S. Grand Jury Subpoenas Infosys in Visa Fraud Investigation

Don Tennant

The U.S. government's criminal investigation of alleged visa fraud by Indian IT services provider Infosys Technologies has led to a grand jury subpoena that compels Infosys to provide information on its sponsorship of B1 visas to send employees to work in the United States. The criminal investigation, sparked by Infosys employee and whistleblower Jay Palmer's civil lawsuit against the company, is clearly intensifying and is making the filing of criminal charges appear increasingly likely. And it has resulted in another threat against Palmer.

 

The grand jury subpoena, issued in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Monday, stems from an investigation by federal authorities who have been working with Palmer and his attorney, Kenny Mendelsohn. I spoke with Mendelsohn earlier today, and he connected the dots:

It's my understanding that there's a joint investigation going on between the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department - I know those two are involved. My guess is that these agents, once they met with Jay the first time and started looking at all the documents we provided to them, they went to the U.S. Attorney, which led to the grand jury subpoena. Jay is the one who reported the violations to them, and I feel confident that what they have done is based on the documentation that Jay provided. Federal investigators have been following up with the information, and apparently it's gotten to the level that it has been presented to the grand jury with a view towards prosecuting someone.

I asked Mendelsohn if he expects to see indictments. His response:

My expectation is that they're pretty close to it. Based on what I know, I would expect some indictments, and obviously, the federal investigators and the U.S. Attorney's Office have determined that these are particularly serious problems, or else there wouldn't be a grand jury involved. Based on what I know about the facts and where the federal authorities appear to be in their investigation, I would expect some indictments. I don't know when, or what charges yet. I'm not getting any of this from the federal investigators, because they're not at liberty to share that kind of information with me. But based on the subpoena for documents that we told federal authorities existed that would likely prove some of the crimes, I would expect somebody to be indicted, yes.

The grand jury subpoena was covered extensively by the Indian press yesterday, and Mendelsohn told me that Palmer received another threat, this one coming this morning from an individual in India who is one of Palmer's connections on LinkedIn. The threat was made via LinkedIn, so the individual who made it, barring some sort of hack into the account it was sent from, has been identified. This is the full text of the message, as it appears on LinkedIn:

you still working at infy ? they should have fired you long back ... after you stabbed their back by falsely implicating them on the misuse of visa. unfortunately infy is an indian company and indians don't stab ... even in the front. that's what hypocrites like you take advantage of. Hope they learn the rule of Tit for Tat. I just wish you were here in India. we would have taken *good* care of you.

Mendelsohn said he's reporting the latest threat to Infosys and the federal authorities:

This is the third one, and Infosys is not taking it seriously. They have been advised of these threats, but it's obvious they are doing nothing to try to stop the employees from making the death threats, or to take any action to protect Jay. They will be hearing from me today. We have a name to follow up with in this investigation, and I intend to take some action on this. I'm going to be contacting federal authorities, and maybe even the FBI, on this one to see if they can investigate.

Infosys, meanwhile, has filed a document with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to report its receipt of the grand jury subpoena and to affirm that it will cooperate with the investigation:

On May 23, 2011, the Company received a subpoena (the "Subpoena") from a grand jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (the "Grand Jury"). The Subpoena requires that Infosys provide to the Grand Jury certain documents and records related to the Company's sponsorships for, and uses of, B1 business visas. Infosys intends to comply with the Subpoena and to cooperate with the Grand Jury's investigation.


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May 25, 2011 9:00 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says:

If the government makes a high-profile example out of some key Infosys executives that would really send a message that enough is enough - and that visa fraud is a serious crime.  I would really hate to see some mid-level manager made the scapegoat while the true culprits escape responsibility.

I'm also concerned about witnesses.  The government should offer witnesses against Infosys greencards for their testimony because the company has too much leverage on these guys back in India - I wouldn't put threats and intimidation passed what they are willing to do.

Don, next time you speak with Jay's lawyer please ask about possible Indian witnesses and if there are any, what is being done to protect them from retaliation.  Hopefully we have a witness who ultimately got his greencard and wants to immigrate so he doesn't need to fear retaliation.

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May 25, 2011 9:06 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to R. Lawson

No, you are wrong. A ptential witness may have already received a greencard but he/she more than likely has an extended family that still lives in india. And...anything can happen to them....if you get my drift.....

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May 25, 2011 9:26 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to hireamerican

Yeah, that crossed my mind.  If you can bring Infosys down, greencards for the whole family

I don't believe I'm being an alarmist when I say they really would be in danger back in India.  They (meaning the whole family) would need 24/7 protection.

My guess is that it is Indian nationals who have the most dirt on the company and would provide the best testimony. 

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May 26, 2011 1:51 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Justin

"Wow... So much hatred for poor Indian guys.."

Hatred?  Really?  I don't see hatred - I see concern about the safety of potential witnesses and a desire to see justice carried out. 

"24/7 protection for witnesses.... and what not... wow!! Indians are not killers."

So Indian companies never intimidate, threaten, blacklist, or otherwise harm people that stand in their way?  I've read too many articles in the Indian press to know that just isn't the case.  Even if they aren't killed or physically harmed they would most certainly face blacklisting and find it very difficult to get a job.

I've read the reported threats against Jay Palmer.  It's very clear that there are people willing to cross boundaries.

"There are more than 12000 Infosys employees in US. Infosys is more ethical than any other "business" I have seen. And definitely much more ethical than most ppl blogging here."

So you consider it ethical to encourage employees to lie in order to help break immigration laws?  And when they refuse to lie, you consider it ethical to threaten them, bully them, and bench them?

Just curious what your definition of ethics are here.  Oh, while we are on the subject...  Do you consider it ethical that Infosys contractors in the United States are dis-proportionally Indian nationals (estimates of over 90%) while American workers are discriminated against? 

I don't see how you can rationalize discriminating against American workers, misusing our visa system, and bullying someone who stands in your way because he refuses to engage in fraud.

Help me out here Justin.  Connect the Infosys ethics dots for me.  From an outsider looking in I see blatant corruption.  When I worked with Infosys one contractor showed me his salary (pay stub).  His US salary was 3 times his Indian salary - which came out to $21k a year.  Is that was Infosys considers prevailing wage for a software engineer?

Before you get all high on ethics at Infosys, you had better look at the facts.  Your company symbolizes what is wrong with the IT profession.

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May 26, 2011 2:47 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to R. Lawson

This stuff has been going on for decades.  Most likely it gets buried and maybe a small fine.  Too much is at stake for corporate America and the destruction of the middle class is too important for the powers that be to let it be sidetracked.

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May 26, 2011 2:48 AM Su Su  says: in response to R. Lawson

"

Help me out here Justin.  Connect the Infosys ethics dots for me.  From an outsider looking in I see blatant corruption.  When I worked with Infosys one contractor showed me his salary (pay stub).  His US salary was 3 times his Indian salary - which came out to $21k a year.  Is that was Infosys considers prevailing wage for a software engineer?

"

I have to say you don't understand different markets and economy at all. The pay stub you saw must be very highly paid individual in Infosys India...otherwise even 15k per annum is a good salary in indian market. If you understand $ value only then 3 times Indian salary is very common in US. If you go to India for any reason you'll be paid 1/3rd or 1/5th of your US salary in India. Starting from President of India to an ordinary ordinary bartender everyone earns 1/3rd to 1/5th of US wages in Indian money. This is the same reason a burger costs 50 cents in India.

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May 26, 2011 2:57 AM Su Su  says: in response to R. Lawson

"

Do you consider it ethical that Infosys contractors in the United States are dis-proportionally Indian nationals (estimates of over 90%) while American workers are discriminated against? 

"

As you once said Good = Profit for these orgs - I don't think they have any racial agenda here. The whole business model is to provide cheaper but quality service to client which can't be afforded with US employees. 90% are all temporary worker. Will an US employee accept deputation in India due to project need once US assignment is over? 90% of the work force you are mentioning do that. Due to that scalability and flexibility it offers some value to client. All these 90% people talk to their Indian counterparts and developers late in night. Do you think an american employee will ever take a call after 6pm in the night? (now don't reply yes I work till 1am in lastnight do you think average US work force is ready to work in that model)

You might like it or not like it but don't comment without understanding a business model.

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May 26, 2011 3:12 AM Su Su  says: in response to R. Lawson

"

Before you get all high on ethics at Infosys, you had better look at the facts.  Your company symbolizes what is wrong with the IT profession.

"

What is ethics for you? Just providing job to americans not caring about profit? I don't speak for Infosys but I also think definitely it is not their primary agenda in business. I don't see anything wrong in business ethics in that either.

You have to design a law to create that kind of protective culture and then Infosys might stay away. As you also know very well as soon as US labor become cheaper Infosys will start hiring that ...and yes that is for profit. That is how business has been running for years.

I think we both agree that if you want something implemented you have to implement some rule/law in US. Without having that you can't put all your grudge to one particular company who is doing nothing wrong but playing the game as per rule in proper business ethics. If you question that ethics you have to change everything rather than questioning one single company.

It is like if you are against smoking then work towards banning smoking or spread awareness rather than shouting at a smoker or asking a smokeshop to shutdown their shop.

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May 26, 2011 4:15 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Su

"I have to say you don't understand different markets and economy at all. The pay stub you saw must be very highly paid individual in Infosys India...otherwise even 15k per annum is a good salary in indian market. If you understand $ value only then 3 times Indian salary is very common in US. "

Su, I understand the market very well.  The market however doesn't matter.  What matters is the letter of the law.  The law requires payment of prevailing wages.  I don't care if the American salary is 100 times the Indian salary - if it isn't prevailing wage it is in violation of the law.

Because companies like Infosys ignore the law they gain an unfair competitive advantage in our home market.  What Indian workers are paid in India - that's your business.  What they are paid here while being sponsored on an H-1b visa - that's our business.  Free trade, globalism, your personal ideology - none of that matters when it comes to this issue.  What matters is what the law says and that it is being both followed and enforced.

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May 26, 2011 4:23 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Su

We don't need to talk H-1b or immigration to get a basic foundation in ethics.  It is unethical to bully people, threaten them, ask that they violate laws, and punish them if they don't.

This isn't rocket science.  All the other arguments are red-herring.  What allegedly occurred in this case smells to high heaven of a lack of ethics.  Your views on globalization and trade matter little - at the end of the day Jay Palmer was bullied and can no longer engage in his profession because someone asked him to break the law, and punished him when he didn't.  He wasn't a "team player".  Apparently being a "team player" at Infosys includes immigration fraud.  Ethical?  I think not.

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May 26, 2011 4:36 AM Su Su  says: in response to R. Lawson

Let me rephrase then...you don't know prevailing wages in India. Infosys never violates prevailing wages in any country.

That is how Ralph Lauren makes profit by selling made in Bangladesh clothes in US. That is what Walmart does. That is what Accenture, IBM, mindtree (Don loves it) they all do. Accenture doesn't employ 50k employees to do any Indian business. Why don't they hire in US? answer is simple and you know that. So channelize your your frustration where it belongs rather than just complaining about individual companies.

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May 26, 2011 4:49 AM Su Su  says: in response to R. Lawson

Now you changed whole topic.

You diverted from your topic and stand of "From an outsider looking in I see blatant corruption.  " just based on Jay Palmer case.

And I go back to my old argument -

1. you don't even know whether what Palmer is saying is true or not - you are just very sure because of certain bias.

2. If Palmer is true that does not proove "blatant corruption." - you can't blame entire company for that. That is what you call sterotyping.

You keep switching topic from a bigger issue to this specific case based on what Palmer's attorney says. What's wrong if I say I don't believe a single word here and then put a end to the discussion. ...and then start a new discussion why do you think or be so sure about your "blatant corruption.".

Don quoted something as threat:

"you still working at infy ? they should have fired you long back ... after you stabbed their back by falsely implicating them on the misuse of visa. unfortunately infy is an indian company and indians don't stab ... even in the front. that's what hypocrites like you take advantage of. Hope they learn the rule of Tit for Tat. I just wish you were here in India. we would have taken good care of you."

It looks like very immature words to me and it never qualifies as a threat. Someone sending such silly comments doesn't qualify as a threat at all. No Indians can do any harm to Palmer - so stop sensitize a silly topic. Police will take good care of all such activities better than as you are expecting from Infosys.

End of the day you can continue to create huge issue out of one incident which is still under investigation but you won't resolve any problem.

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May 26, 2011 4:55 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Su

Like Lawson said, it does not matter who,what and how in other countries....what matters is that prevailing wage must be paid for work done on US soil....

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May 26, 2011 4:58 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Su

"Let me rephrase then...you don't know prevailing wages in India. Infosys never violates prevailing wages in any country."

So I was hallucinating when an Infosys contractor (software engineer) showed me his pay stub?  I dreamed up his 3 x India pay explanation that came up to $21k?  My emails years ago when this occurred documenting this conversations - a simple product of said hallucination?

My frustration lies with any company violating the laws - and I think we are channeling the frustrations as well as possible considering we are being outspent by industry lobbyists exponentially.  I don't care if it is Infosys or Harley Davidson (Indian or American) the law is the law and if a company violates it I'm going to point that out to whomever will listen.

It's Infosys that the grand jury is looking into - so apparently our rumblings may finally be paying off.

I hope that the grand jury/DA pulls all pay stubs going back to the beginning of the program.  Look at all Infosys employees at Publix in Florida during the early-mid 2000s - did wages match LCA filings?  Are they prevailing?  Last I checked there is no statute of limitations on immigration fraud. 

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May 26, 2011 5:07 AM Su Su  says: in response to R. Lawson

Hmmm yes in that case Infosys will pay heavy fine. Sorry I was thinking you were talking about 21k $ in India (which Infosys analysts get paid in India which comes to 1000K in Indian money)

I guess company called Patni got caught for such reasons and paid heavily.

I think I heard Infosys also paid penalty in state of CA due not pay overtime as that is strict law in CA state.

But yes it is little difficult for me to digest that someone got paid 21k while staying in US it is like monthly pay stub of less than 2k!! You can still bring that thing to attention of Law. It may not be hallucination ... you might have misunderstood something, you might true also - I don't know. However I don't agree that it is the prevalent case. USCIS and US tax dept are not that innocent.

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May 26, 2011 5:08 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Su

Su: "1. you don't even know whether what Palmer is saying is true or not - you are just very sure because of certain bias."

True - based on my prior experience I believe he is telling the truth.  I wasn't there and the courts will sort this specific case out.

Su: "2. If Palmer is true that does not proove "blatant corruption." - you can't blame entire company for that. That is what you call sterotyping."

It doesn't disprove blatant or widespread corruptions either.  The grand jury is no doubt looking at the bigger picture.  In my limited dealings with Infosys about 7 years ago I witnessed visa violations.  I wasn't asked to lie about it - Jay Palmer allegedly was.  That's called conspiracy.

The only reason I didn't report it is 1) I couldn't prove it - not like I got a copy of the pay stub.  2) I liked the guy and didn't want to get him fired.  I did talk about it generically but omitted they person's name and until now the company name.  It's years later - if the DA in Texas has any questions about it I'll tell him everything I know which of course I can't prove.

All it takes is a good audit of Infosys and the whole house of cards is coming down.

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May 26, 2011 5:14 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Su

"Hmmm yes in that case Infosys will pay heavy fine. Sorry I was thinking you were talking about 21k $ in India (which Infosys analysts get paid in India which comes to 1000K in Indian money) "

Sorry Su, perhaps I didn't explain well.  His US salary came to $21k a year.  That was about 7 years ago so consider the economic conditions at the time.  He made roughly $7k USD in India at the time, and $21k here.

If he was paid $63k a year USD I wouldn't bother mentioning it.  That's in the ballpark of prevailing wage at the location of the job at that time for a person with his experience.

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May 26, 2011 6:44 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to R. Lawson

Yes, if one knows where and how to look, it can be proven beyond doubt and the house of cards will come down. But, will it happen? Doubt it. The power lobbies will not let it happen. Too bad for the common man.

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May 26, 2011 8:54 AM Sam Sam  says: in response to hireamerican

if you think that Indian companies are gaining profit by putting cheap labors on H1B then you dont understant onsite-offshore model at all.  H1B worker is paid on the PW (prevailing wage) but he works with 10 other offshore resources in India who are being paid in their local currency. In India 10 ppl are working on 10-20K USD pa for American companies which is quite cheap compared to american labor. There is nothing illegal nor there is any house of cards which will fall. Probably you cant see the forest because of trees!

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May 26, 2011 9:46 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Sam

I perfectly understand the model........H1B worker prevailing wages...these are the issues with the program..that needs to be corrected...Wait and see...they will fall...the process has already begun!!!

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May 26, 2011 10:11 AM HUH HUH  says:

Majority of the workers working for these 'IT' companies do not even know that they are violating the visa terms. All they know is they know is that they work for a multi-billion dollar company who takes care of the employees by sending them 'abroad' for work! One has to realize being an adult the visa holder is responsible for their visa petition and any violation if responsibility of the visa holder.

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May 26, 2011 10:50 AM jobs4us jobs4us  says:

Thank you Jay Palmer!

While Infosys may be the largest abuser of B1/B2 tourist visas to outsource USA jobs, they are hardly the only Indian firm doing this.

Every tech jobseeker in India knows about B1/B2 job ads for tech positions in the USA-we have hard evidence to prove these illegal practices-every day, hundreds of employers in India advertise thousands of USA jobs for B1/B2  - every day.

India Inc. and unscrupulous US employers go through elaborate schemes and break USA laws to make sure Americans cannot find or apply for these jobs.

These employers do not care that the USA outlawed segregated employment in the 1960s Civil Rights Act. 

In addition, these unscrupulous employers don't care the Indian Nationals with B1/B2 visas working in the USA are here illegally-and they, like their employers, are committing criminal, felony offenses that include financial fines, jail, and permanent deportation.

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May 26, 2011 11:48 AM Justin Justin  says: in response to HUH

Wow... So much hatred for poor Indian guys.. Have you ever seen them being rude or harming any American... why so much hatred.. Let law takes its own course. Let the feds decide.

24/7 protection for witnesses.... and what not... wow!! Indians are not killers.

There are more than 12000 Infosys employees in US. Infosys is more ethical than any other "business" I have seen. And definitely much more ethical than most ppl blogging here.

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May 27, 2011 4:33 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Lawson

Or better put. 

"Americans and Indians working proudly together with the laid off Americans as a condition of receiving their severance training Indian replacements to ship the jobs to India and improve corporate profits"

IT is pretty much done in the US and the only "good thing" is that the vast majority of it can now be done in India.

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May 27, 2011 4:44 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to hoapres

It ain't over till the fat lady sings

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May 27, 2011 4:46 AM hiremaerican hiremaerican  says: in response to Su

My question is, why an H1B here to work with the offshore teams? Why can't it be someone local?

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May 27, 2011 5:01 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to hiremaerican

The H1B is shipped back home most likely to India after knowledge transfer (KT) to train other people.  Once enough people are qualified to do the task the entire project including new product development is done overseas.  The US headquarters simply calls up India, China, etc. and order a new product just like ordering a cheeseburger at Mcdonalds.

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May 27, 2011 5:02 AM jobs4US jobs4US  says: in response to hiremaerican

They do my friend place local people onsite at US site - the issue - they are not American citizens. More likely they are benched (unemployed) H-1b who are out-of-status and at risk of deportation. There's a huge black market of human traffiking going on its called corp-corp. The H1b are not benefiting from them either.

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May 27, 2011 5:07 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to jobs4US

H1Bs are wage slaves.  They know their status and accept it because it is more preferable than current conditions in India or China.  Most new H1Bs seem to be those that can NOT get jobs in India or China.  A bright Indian or Chinese realizes that he doesn't have to come to the US and live 12+ in a 1 BR apartment.

Out of status H1Bs can take the "severance package" by running up their credit cards before going back home.  If the H1B has played his cards right then maybe he can get out $30K before going back home.

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May 27, 2011 8:10 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Lawson

US Government spending 11 million dollars to encourage greencard holders to become citizens.......

Angling for more votes I see:P

http://www.cbs7kosa.com/news/details.asp?ID=25866

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May 27, 2011 9:20 AM Su Su  says: in response to hireamerican

Sam brought out the actual point here. 10 Indian coder/tester seating linked with 1 h1-b1 seating in US. (Note the stat here..1 H1 visa is not taking 1 US job it is taking may be 5 more US jobs - considering 5 US coder/tester == 10 Indian coder/tester. Rate is 1/10th (6k/annum as against 60k in US) so 1/2 efficiency doesn't hurt).

That is the business model. Doesn't matter if all the Indian companies come down " house of cards"....."whole house of cards is" not "coming down" any soon. If all Infosys TCS are gone for some reason Accenture, IBM, Oracle will eat up same business and it will continue. They employ 30-40-50K in India and they aspire to become like Infosys and TCS in India (just like Infosys aspire to become like Accenture worldwide). They will be happy to grab Infosys business and probably their 150k employees and story will continue. Nothing is gonna change even if Infosys falls. That is my point. People might be happy to see fall of an Indian company but without bigger change nothing is going to change.

Even Infosys and its peers don't want any one to code/test with B1/H1 visa which hits their profit margin. All these jobs can be done by Indian coder/tester with $6-7K per annum which makes Infosys one of the world leaders on profit margin. It is only individuals who are not tied to any company and find some loophole to get h1 visa through a 3rd party comes and code-test in US a freelancer and that 3rd party gets 20-30% of that person's billing.

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May 27, 2011 9:40 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Su

"Sam brought out the actual point here. 10 Indian coder/tester seating linked with 1 h1-b1 seating in US. (Note the stat here..1 H1 visa is not taking 1 US job it is taking may be 5 more US jobs - considering 5 US coder/tester == 10 Indian coder/tester. Rate is 1/10th (6k/annum as against 60k in US) so 1/2 efficiency doesn't hurt)."

Two points to make.  First point is that if Indian companies are forced to make American workers their "feet on the ground" in the US instead and still send the other 5 jobs offshore, their rates are still going to go up substantially.  Although there are big differences in salary there aren't big margins so the H-1b fees, enforcement of other visa laws, and requiring body shops to hire local workers will make those margins vanish.

Second point is that, speaking as s software developer, the Indian (labor arbitrage) model is quite antiquated.  You no longer need armies of coders to build large enterprise applications.  Most of the plumbing should be automated (code generated) based on some convention, configuration, metadata, etc.

So while India has been hard at work trying to maintain their hold on the cheap labor market, many Americans (and others) have been hard at work making them irrelevant.  Productivity does not support the Indian model.  If Indian developers are more productive, billing rates go down.  There is a financial incentive to work harder, not smarter.

We really need more consultants (true consultants - not consultants in name only) who work hand in hand with clients and still have a grasp of technology.  That type of work is best done on location.  So yes - clients will pay me way more than Indian workers but they also get things done faster and better.  Overall it is smarter business proposition. 

I personally think that value-based consulting is the way to go.  As an example, if the client has a million dollar problem and I can solve that million dollar problem in 1 week, I deserve much more than 40 hours of pay.  The incentive should be on delivering value, not running up the clock.  I could easily hire an army of coders in India to solve the same problem in 6 months - and it will all work out the same (only will take longer).

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May 27, 2011 11:40 AM Lawson Lawson  says: in response to Justin

The Business Model of Infosys is very simple and clear its nothing but 21st century slavery back in USA . The slaves here are Indian employees the masters here are the trillionaire and billionaire  owners of Infosys whose only source of pride and ego boost up is to see their names in Fortune and Forbes magazine and a fetish to prove theier racial superiority to other ethinicities of fellow Indians and they get a weird pleasure if they know they have trciked or cheated others to get to the number 1 slot . How else would you justify the reckless Infosys owners rewarding themselves with billions in dividend money during the 2008-09 downturn when the Infosys employees and rest of IT industry workers were out on the street begging to banks to let them keep their homes which they had taken on their hard earned money ?

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May 30, 2011 1:21 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Dolores

The Indian diaspora of yesteryears are from a completely diffferent value system. The Johnny come latelys that you see today have it easy and are cluless about how things were back in the day, how hard one had to work in order to be able to come to a country like the US, how much effort went toward earning a degree and securing employment here.

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May 30, 2011 9:21 AM Narain Narain  says: in response to hireamerican

I liked to read this blog and reader comments and laughing at how silly and stupid Americans can be to believe the outcome of these lawsuits will be anything that will good for American workers .

This will just lead to formation of a new immigartion policy and new visa service visa which will be as simple as a flight boarding pass and you will see lakhs of Indians immigarting to American shores very soon to fill up all the important openings in US including that of American president and chief immigration officer .

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May 30, 2011 10:58 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to Narain

I'm not certain what sort of positive impact you thought an ignorant comment like that would have. It will have none.

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May 30, 2011 11:30 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Don Tennant

Indeed, more and more countries are having second thoughts about the Indian 'diaspora'

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/nri/working-abroad/saudi-arabia-plans-six-year-cap-on-expatriate-workers/articleshow/8648111.cms

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/features/dateline-india/stringent-uk-visa-rules-worry-indian-companies-skilled-workers/articleshow/7746007.cms

http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-01-31/news-by-industry/28425903_1_fee-for-certain-categories-visa-fees-border-security-bill

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Jun 1, 2011 9:23 AM American Citizen American Citizen  says:

Great blog. If y'all want to read about H1B fraud, read Goolti.com and DesiCrunch.com.

Goolti.com is a site where the H1Bs squeal about all the fraud being done in America by Indians. Indians in IT, are notorious for fraud and cheating just as they do back in their country!

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Jun 2, 2011 5:46 AM Dalton Gates Dalton Gates  says:

Dear Mr. Tennant

As a fellow Mainer (in Atlanta at the moment) I must say that I have been reading with increasing interest your blog column on the corporate abuse in the H1B Visa system.

I felt you should know, however, that this situation is simply far worse than anyone in American media or journalism who covers this issue remotely realizes.

As the fairly new VP of Global Enterprise Operations Management for a Fortune 500 in the banking and financial technology services sector I  was utterly shocked and appalled upon learning of the hidden system of kickbacks, charge offs, discounted billing, phantom offshore associates, and the myriad of other highly creative ways that the 'Big 6' in Indian IT and BPO outsourcing use to encourage the senior leadership of U.S. corporations to do business with their companies.  It is now so bad that the H1B Visa allocation and approval system is totally corrupted.  On a recent trip to Pune India to visit one of our outsourced and offshored data centers I was astounded to see approved H1B Visas and matching identification being openly sold on the streets nearest the US and European company compounds. The culture of greed and acceptance of these illegal practices has started to become institutionalized to the point that the executives who are decision makers in the 'best shoring' and H1B Visa sponsorship game simply look at the extra income they reap from the system  their just rewards and tribute - one of the perks of the job.

The fraud is no longer  limited to 5 or 10 H1B Visa workers in the US here and there or the off-shoring off a couple hundred jobs to India every so often.  It is now done at 500, 1000, and in one case over 2000 jobs at a time.

If any American journalist wanted to learn how rigged the system actually is all they need do is create a really great IT career profile and then post it on India's largest IT Career Board, Naukri.com and start looking for some very unusual job posting trends by U.S. companies and then comparing them to the company's own HR Career website and then to a very large American technology recruiting website such as Dice.com.

It won't take very long for someone to realize that there are at any given time several hundred H1B Visa positions posted for every 1 job posted for application by American workers.

The next step would be to do a simple audit of the 'real' books of an Indian IT recruiting company based here in the U.S. such as Pyramid Consulting.  For anyone who is able to persevere long enough to connect the dots and follow the money the real world education they will gain in return will very likely rock their world and their trust in many common institutions and cultural norms in America today.

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Jun 2, 2011 6:15 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Dalton Gates

Mr. Dalton,

You absolutely have it down pat. This whole H1B and outsourcing is a huge money laundering scheme. It is very easy to hide wealth once it is moved to India. The stock holders of corporations have no clue. The American public is even more clueless. The US government is asleep at the wheels.

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Jun 3, 2011 4:30 AM Justin Justin  says: in response to Dalton Gates

"approved H1B Visas and matching identification being openly sold on the streets nearest the US and European company compounds"

ahemm... literally? what do you mean by that? US embassy gives visa and ppl are selling those visas on streets? sounds unrealistic unless I am misunderstanding ur statement ?

Did you see that and enquire if that true before making that statement? Is US embassy doing nothing about it?

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Jun 3, 2011 5:40 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Justin

Yup, it is true. There is place called USA in Hyderabad, India. It stands for United states of Ameerpet. You can get all the training you need for under $200 complete with a fake resume and job referrals. There is a price for visas too.

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Jun 3, 2011 10:04 AM hireamerican hireamerican  says: in response to Dalton Gates

Please email me at hireamerican2011@gmail.com so I can speak to you.

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Jun 6, 2011 7:17 AM howcanwedo howcanwedo  says: in response to hireamerican

Hi all,

Do you know  how many jobs have been shipped to Indians because of B1 visa fraudulent? Do you know how many Indian outsource companies take/took this illegal scheme (Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant, etc)? How many financial companies (like ML, UBS, Citibank) have the outsourcing contacts with them and pretend not to see the visa issue? How the US companies make so much profit, more hiring in india/china but less hiring in America? How difficult for new graduates to find the job? How many jobs will be re-created if the governament close the visa fraudulent abuse and punish companys for their wrongdoing? Should that lower our unployment rate? Should we need to send out email to congressman or our leader? Does IT still have a future in USA?

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Jun 7, 2011 12:27 PM US native US native  says: in response to R. Lawson

I don't agree with protecting a whole family in this way. But I do support prosecuting Infosys and any other company suspected of and indicted for visa fraud. Many of us have long suspected this has been happening for a long time.

I was a witness to a company not Infosys in the past, passing off people as skilled IT workers but who could not speak enough technical English or understand enough to be able to contribute but due to contract agreements the company insisted they be employed and paid! Not to mention the fact that US citizens were laid off when those people were employed.

Despite the concerns I and others do have about hatred and negative commentary, in some cases just as among all people, arrogance and fraud witnessed by us but about which nothing was done had made us eager to see these types of fraud prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Green cards are not what are used in our legal system; it is the Witness Protection Program when it is usually a Federal crime and this would be one of those.

The real problem is when the protections we give our own citizens whether in economic or legal resources are exploited by those who make false claims of any kind. IF green cards were given how many people would suddenly materialize to witness against their companies just to get the green card?

Protect them until they get a prosecution success and only then offer any permanent remedies.

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Jun 7, 2011 12:31 PM US native US native  says: in response to Justin

Yes, I have witnessed not just rudeness but out and out arrogance, standing up in a meeting and saying they are better than US citizens and I am sure I am not the only one.

Further rudeness in my part of the US where there is a huge majority, northern Virginia, refusal to speak English is rampant. Abuse of their women in our presence, and rudeness to Hispanics by them a lot!

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Jun 7, 2011 12:49 PM US native US native  says: in response to Su

Yes, may of us have worked in IT doing support at any time of the day or night and many of us working shifts of 24X7 for a week at a time every other 6 weeks. One of them would be me.

See how ignorant you are of us in the US as IT workers? You have swallowed the propaganda that US IT workers are lazy and stupid. And by repeating it you make yourself seem arrogant as if you are ENTITLED to work here in the US. No one is ENTITLED.

Every person who has immigrated to the US in the past has been GRATEFUL to have the opportunity to work in a free society where they cannot be intimidated by their employer; where unions and the legal system protect individuals. And where there is no caste system. They have been eager to learn English and participate in our free election system.

Do you know what the tariffs for imports from the US are into India? 40% so maybe there should be 40% fewer Indians here, ever?

Also I can remember when foreign students came to the US to train and go back home to make their home countries better; now it seems they think they have the right to stay in the US! Why don't you fix your own country, try eliminating some of your poverty?

There is an old saying from the Bible that says look first at the failing in your own eye before looking at those of others. Despite what Mr Gandhi taught about peace and civil disobedience maybe those from India should learn a little humility from him as well.

This potential fraud by Infosys should not be swept under the rug; and there should be no fines unless they are exorbitant. There should be jail time. And as we are reported to have some of the worst jail conditions in the world, perhaps it will then limit this abuse of our systems for the almighty dollar.

And YES, there have been proven ads here in the US where Infosys and other recruiting companies specifically discriminated against US citizens regardless of where they came from; you are poorly informed and have drunk the Kool Aid of your own country's propaganda.

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Jun 13, 2011 4:58 AM Indian Native Indian Native  says: in response to US native

1. Standing up in a meeting and saying Indians are better than US citizens.. in front of you.. ?

Its something wrong.. no one should actually say that.

If you think you were better, did you speak up? Was this brought up to management/HR... what was the action taken?

2.

Refusal to speak English - While talking to an Englis speaking person or speaking amongst themselves (Indians)?

In work environment, they should avoid speaking languages other than English. Definitely a no-no it in meetings, but why not in 1-to-1 conversations.

Outside work.. u cannot blame them for speaking non-english language. English is not their mother tounge.. English is second language... I guess its a fundamental right to speak whatever language they want to speak.. Spaniards speak Spanish... Brazilians speak Portugese in US (when taking to a fellow Brazilian).

I am sure "US native" that your mother tongue is English otherwise you woudn't have made this comment.

3. Abuse women in "our" presence? Expand a little bit. Go out and complain to the police. "Might be 1 off case.." I have seen that in call communities/castes/section of society. The weaker one is suppressed. Thats wrong and should be stopped/reported.

Lets check within US, how many African American are at top job position. There is and there was opression all over the world.. and will continue forever. I am not saying that correct.

Read psychology and u will know what I mean.

This instance of an Indian guy abusing his wife might be 1 off scenario. I can bet on that.

4. Rudeness to Hispanics: I think it might be the other way round. A lot many Indians feel discriminated everyday at hands of fellow "Americans" including hispanics. Hate crimes where sikhs get manhandled coz a fellow "overtly intelligent american" thinks that the sikh guy is a relative of ... I have seen it myself at Chipotle and many other stores (not always but occasionally). The way the guys at the counter speak to a white skin vs black skin vs indian vs chinese vs a poor guy vs rich guy. Go and ask a hispanic - Whom do you think mistreats you more. Americans or Indians - and I can bet with you on the answer to that question.

So be practical/fact based. Don't be prejudiced. I am an Indian and so I speak to what I have seen and felt all over my 7.5 years of stay in US till now.

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