Infosys Tries to Thwart Public Hearing of Visa Fraud Case

Don Tennant

With a criminal investigation by federal authorities hanging over its head, Infosys Technologies is now maneuvering to prevent a public hearing of the visa fraud lawsuit brought last month by Infosys employee and whistleblower Jay Palmer.


Palmer's attorney, Kenny Mendelsohn, said Infosys has filed a motion to compel arbitration in the case. That means the case would be heard behind closed doors, rather than in a courtroom where the charges and Infosys' response to them could be heard by the public. While Mendelsohn clearly isn't afraid of arbitration, he's going to file an objection to the motion. After speaking with him about it, I could tell that the idea just doesn't sit well with him.

We can arbitrate it, we can litigate it. The bottom line is at some point in time, Infosys is going to have to face us and our questions about their wrongful conduct and why nobody's been protecting Jay when all he did was follow their policy and report violations of the law. That isn't going to change, regardless of whether we litigate it or arbitrate it. The facts are the facts, and those won't change. I prefer it being in federal court, mainly because I'd like to see this thing tried in a public setting. Arbitration has its place, and it's not always a bad thing to do. I'm not afraid of the arbitration rules, or the arbitrator, or anything like that. In this case, if we have to arbitrate it, I have confidence there will be a fair and neutral arbitrator. Anybody who hears these facts is going to conclude that Jay has been harassed and retaliated against, all because he stood up and reported some criminal violations. I don't care who hears it. Those facts are not going to change. I'll be happy with whatever ruling [on arbitration] the judge gives.

As I noted in an earlier post, "Infosys Under Federal Investigation in Visa, Tax Fraud Case," the company had previously filed a motion to move the case from Lowndes County, Ala., Circuit Court to the federal court in Montgomery. Mendelsohn explained where that fits into the arbitration scenario:

Apparently what they wanted to do was get the federal judges to rule on the arbitration issue rather than the Lowndes County judge. They could have filed a motion to compel arbitration in the Lowndes County Court. But if they lost that, they'd wind up having to try it in Lowndes County. Apparently, their view is that if it doesn't go to arbitration, they'd prefer to be in federal court, as opposed to Lowndes County Circuit Court.

Separately, as I also noted in the earlier post, after it became aware that Palmer was cooperating with federal investigators, Infosys demanded that Palmer surrender his laptop, and threatened to fire him if he didn't comply. Mendelsohn told me on Monday that the federal investigators have asked for the laptop, and that they're going to get it:

They have asked us to secure it until they can formally request it, and I'm not sure exactly what the procedure is. I'm assuming there's some kind of warrant or subpoena or something like that to get it. They're going to do it the correct way, I'm sure. It is secured right now. Infosys provided him with another laptop at his request. I have made the decision that it is going to remain secured until the federal government obtains it. These [documents on the laptop] are critical documents in an ongoing investigation. Infosys didn't ask for it in October and November when they were supposedly doing the whistleblower investigation, which I don't think they were actually doing, by the way. Now, after they find out that there's a federal criminal investigation going on, they suddenly want his laptop. I'm not going to take the chance of anybody interfering with those documents.

You certainly can't blame Infosys for wanting to get its hands on that laptop, or for not wanting to have its dirty laundry aired in public. But I, for one, hope it loses the arbitration battle the way it lost the laptop battle. If the case goes to federal court, the possibility exists that this civil case could suddenly turn into a criminal case. It's not uncommon in either state court or federal court for judges to Mirandize a witness and call in a district attorney if it appears that criminal activity has taken place. It's difficult to read the case facts in the lawsuit Mendelsohn filed on Palmer's behalf, and the evidence he's collected, and not conclude that criminal activity has likely occurred at Infosys, and that it has likely been rampant.


I wouldn't be surprised if Infosys has hired a criminal defense attorney to begin the process of trying to keep Infosys executives out of jail. Even if the case does go to arbitration, the facts of the case, as Mendelsohn says, aren't going away. And unfortunately for Infosys, neither is the federal criminal investigation.

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Mar 29, 2011 8:11 AM Don Tennant Don Tennant  says: in response to EngiNERD

Yes, there absolutely should be a congressional investigation. Thanks for sharing this CW piece.

Mar 29, 2011 8:28 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Don Tennant

I don't understand why there aren't more deportations and reentry bans.

All the H4s alone who are illegally working int he US would fill up a medium-sized city. All the overstays, another. All those who are still working for shady desi consultancies in violation of the Neufeld memo, ditto. 

It is extremely common for people who are legally here on an H-1B to open up a business on the side. Why is this not stopped? I thought they were supposed to be here on a temporary guestworker visa for a particular job. We definitely to get back to that concept and enforce it.

Mar 29, 2011 10:22 AM Wakjob Wakjob  says:

I think Don, you now have to admit that the H-1B program, and in particular, its India-origin abusers goes way beyond the intent of the program and even way beyond the notion that this program is doing the USA any good economically.

When we see internal InfoSys documents come out that instruct B1 visa holders from India TO NOT SAY YOU ARE WORKING HERE, we have to admit things have gotten way out of control.

The fact is these huge Indian bodyshops exist for the purpose of economic takeover of the IT industry by India. And they exist to enable the importation of as many Indian nationals as possible, each one of which is a siphon into our economy in the form of remittances to India.

The Fed has to print and pump $ into our economy to keep it afloat? I wonder why: it's because between the huge trade deficits with China and all the repatriation of $ foreign guest workers do here, we're being drained dry.

The am willing to bet InfoSys execs are quaking like never before. They saw what happened to Raj Rajmanistan and Ravij Goel and the handwriting is on the wall. If all their dirty deeds come out in public court records, it will do irreperable damage to India's image as a legit business operator and it might even make mainstream TV news. The last thing India wants right now is another PR nightmare.

India knows American sentiment has turned against India. If more Indian execs go to prison in the USA, the house of cards is going to come tumbling down.

Mar 29, 2011 11:29 AM hoapres hoapres  says: in response to Don Tennant

>> Yes, there absolutely...

Nothing is going to change until the people in charge want it to.

Come on now

Let's get real.

EVERYBODY (and I do mean everybody) that has been working on in IT has known about this stuff for decades.  So somebody gets busted for H1B fraud which misses the point being that the H1B program was designed to keep labor costs down in the first place.

Mar 29, 2011 2:36 PM Warior(One Leg Warrior) Warior(One Leg Warrior)  says:

These indian companies come here to eat our food, poop in our land, and enjoy whatever status they want. In return they give us sh~t, they cheat on us, they racist against people who feed them, they bypass our law ... I have nothing to say welcome to the world of capitalist.. Let deport all the Slum Dogs home now ...

Mar 29, 2011 2:57 PM EngiNERD EngiNERD  says: in response to Don Tennant

Regarding Tennant's comment about need for Congressional Hearing on H-1b  visas.....

Actually  there  have  been  several  instance on separate  occasions  of testimony  before  congressional sub-committees:





but  are  our  leaders  paying attention???

Mar 29, 2011 2:58 PM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says:

This is bigger news than the civil suit. 

Historically companies engaged in fraud have been fined and banned for a year from sponsoring guest workers.  Usually the fines have been large enough to really hurt the small body shops that break the rules so the one year ban isn't important because they won't be in business the following year anyways.

In the case of Infosys, they can afford to take a pretty big hit financially in terms of fines.  A better punishment would be an indefinite ban from sponsoring guest workers.  If an example is made of Infosys, the others will fall in line (for awhile, until they need another reminder).

A few Infosys executives going to jail and/or deported might also send a more clear message.

Mar 29, 2011 5:08 PM Dolores Dolores  says:

Par for the course. In the lawsuit against Tata, which is still in the courts, Tata early on tried to get it moved to be arbitrated in - INDIA! (Nice try, Tata). http://www.lieffcabraser.com/cases.php?CaseID=149

I can only hope that the inherent cheapness and viciousness of such companies will interfere with their pursuit of the best justice money can buy. 

Mar 29, 2011 7:59 PM EngiNERD EngiNERD  says:

  Just  breaking  story.......

Counterfeit H-1B job offers nets six months in jail 


Seems to me  a month doesn't go by and that is another  arrest,  fines  in the the H-1b program.

Shouldn't there be a congressional investigation?

OOH  OOHH    don't forget,    APRIL 1st  is almost here and you know what that means! 

Mar 30, 2011 8:30 AM Indiantechie Indiantechie  says: in response to Warior(One Leg Warrior)

As long as American companies like coke, pepsi, mcdonalds poop around the world especially...whole piles of shit with places with oil, we reserve the right to put some of u grandpas out of work. Make ur point objectively. Shit begets shit.

Mar 30, 2011 8:49 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to EngiNERD

"??  Where  are the  witnesses  from the Tech/Engineering Associations ?"

They already met, in private behind closed doors.

Mar 30, 2011 9:00 AM Indiantechie Indiantechie  says: in response to Wakjob

Abt china..Nobody forced Americans to buy cheap Chinese products.

..or take out mortgages u can't afford.  I'm sorry u had to foreclose when u lost the job..but that is ur own fault..be glad that there is even a value for the funny money which ur currency is.. That someone thinks it is of some value to provide good and services while ur fed keeps adding 0s to fed banks. QE aka quantitative easing.

Mar 30, 2011 9:19 AM Indiantechie Indiantechie  says:

If u are serous about illegal immigration, don't just go after the Mexican who is here. Have the guts to prosecute fellow American business owner and be ready to clean restrooms.  Did the company where the b1s worked not know they had non residents on business visas working 12hr days not know they were screwing American workers??!! Why stop at infosys ? What about the responsibility of American companies that knowingly accept such illegal labor practices? Which of u have not used a handy man or a day laborer who is an illegal? How many of u won't work 12 hr days in Germany if a German employer got u a businessvisa and paid u 3 times the pay u make in America. Understand the dynamics involved for Indian techies. You will make the same decisions. Many of u americans are working as contractors in Iraq for the addl. Pay and getting shot at..visa abuse is not to be condoned but fix the source. American greed.at personal and corporate level. If there is no market to serve there won't be h1 desi consulting companies

Mar 30, 2011 10:07 AM IndianTechie IndianTechie  says: in response to Dolores

Whatz it with u folks..if u are going to call h1b workers slumdogs and rant abt caste system in India u expect a nice polite reply back ?

Im surprised that nobody responds to my point..why go after just the Indian tech company..and not go after the source...

The "All American Company" that receives the the benefits of such illegal labor. The client must have known that the 10-15 asians working 15 hrs in their office were on a business visa..

How many americans have been fined or penalized for hiring illegal labor..? ever heard of any ?

If u dont want the mouse, hide the cheese.

Mar 30, 2011 10:42 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to IndianTechie

Illegal labor penalties? Peri Software. Srinivasa Chennupati. And a lot more coming. Unlike many, I don't view the individual H-1B holders to be innocent lambs. Not after reading Immigration Voice. All are guilty, all must be caught and given penalties.

Mar 30, 2011 11:13 AM Ken Ken  says: in response to Indiantechie

Rather this person is real or not I wanted to address his statements. He/She brings up some interesting points that I needed to comment on.

Did the company where the b1s worked not know they had non residents on business visas working 12hr days not know they were screwing American workers??!!

I'm sure they did.

Why stop at infosys ?

  Who says that any of us want to. After being found guilty of any crimes, Infosys should have to pay into 15- 30 million dollars into something called "The US IT Worker Delocation Fund"

Top 5% of the execs go to jail 5 - 10 years

Give up all money and possesions obtained while at infosys.

Infosys would not be able to work with any American Companies for 50 years. 

What about the responsibility of American companies that knowingly accept such illegal labor practices?

Similar fines to the ones stated above.

Which of u have not used a handy man or a day laborer who is an illegal?

  Well America is a diverse nation and most people here are "Do it yourself" type of people. I am for me most part, if I need to hire someone I would make sure that, I can understand him/her and she/he can understand me.

How many of u won't work 12 hr days in Germany if a German employer got u a businessvisa and paid u 3 times the pay u make in America.

Here lies the problem. First off, most nations (expect for America and India) have pride in thier countrymen. They believe the only way to get something done right is to do it yourself, so there is not way they would need us or you (not u) to do the work that the can do. Second, as an African American I have seen a lot of things in America that make me sad, but I know that this is the BEST country in the world and I wouldn't want to leave it and would be very upset at my government for MAKING me leave my family, friends and way of life. What does India have going for it? Other than what America Companies are doing for you and when American Company find another way to make more money with using you at all what are you going to do then? Tell me? 

Understand the dynamics involved for Indian techies.

You would be better served to fixes the wage and other problems in your country instead of making more problems here.


To the rest of America.

When do we get tired of taking care of the rest of the world's problems?

What is wrong with being a protectist? 

Mar 30, 2011 12:44 PM Warior Warior  says:

American companies in other countries like Pepsi hires local people. They obey the local law.. They don't racist or discriminate the local .. Indian companies don't bother to hire local or may be they just hire a few local.. They are here to bring cheap slumdogs to destroy American jobs. They break the laws..

Mar 30, 2011 1:02 PM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Indiantechie

No, we need to ignore any and all rants by Indian apologists who try to say, "America is not perfect, you must become perfect or else endure what we are doing to you." Nope, false logic. We can and must work to end guestworker visa abuse and get our own people back to full and optimum employment. Self-serving criticisms by foreigners should be ignored - we should not let rants like Indiantechie's distract us for a nanosecond.

Intiantechie should head home and get to work fixing his homeland's ghastly and obvious problems. If these folks really are that smart and energetic, they have a patriotic duty to fix their motherland's problems before ranting at us.

Mar 30, 2011 1:32 PM IndianTechie IndianTechie  says: in response to Warior

If American companies are willing to accept cheap labor over American labor (even if it is illegal), if there is a market, Indian companies will service it.

20 million mexicans are here because of Americans willing to hire illegal labor over American labor.

Shame ur fellow americans who are selling u out before turning ur anger out on foreign companies. I can sit before home depot everyday watching a parade of so called patriotic americans swoop in to prey on day laborers. Cop cars just cruise by. Have the guts to arrest ur own people. Say this in a forum and everyone claims I do everything myself ! Ive never seen a handyman in life..how do they look...blah blah blah..

Typical  Indian companies bringing in slum dogs is the problem. The greedy pigs who use he slumdogs are not the issue..Typical !!

What patriotism..protect your own greedy pigs..not a word abt them..bay for foreign blood...blame it on slum dogs.

Mar 30, 2011 2:28 PM Warior(One Leg Warrior) Warior(One Leg Warrior)  says: in response to IndianTechie

@IndianTechies, I agree with you the about illegal immigrant. The American CEOs and the riches in US love those slaves, they also love the H-1B slaves too. It is all about dirt cheap labor. Look ! they are paying price now, the economy will never recover it will up and down for a long period of time. Wake up American take these crooks out of our system...

Mar 30, 2011 3:32 PM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to Indiantechie

Thank you IndianTechie.  Don was beginning to think that Americans had a monopoly on extreme points of view. 

Just out of curiosity, you aren't into guns and/or workplace violence are you?  I have an idea for an article - or at least the headline  

Mar 30, 2011 4:30 PM Peaceniks Peaceniks  says: in response to R. Lawson

Programmers guild and alipac members routinely fake extreme responses guised as Indian guest workers. This may be a "monitored board".

Mar 30, 2011 5:54 PM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Peaceniks

Ok, Peaceniks goes on "ignore" too. No need to fake extreme responses, just go over to Immigration Voice and see. Also tips on how to skirt US immigration law. Too bad we can't deport Aman Kapoor for starting IV.

Mar 30, 2011 6:01 PM EngiNERD EngiNERD  says:

Heads  Up:

The House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement has posted the witness list for its upcoming H-1B hearing.  Those testifying include:

Donald Neufeld, Associate Director of Service Center Operations; USCIS

Bo Cooper, Partner; Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Ron Hira, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Public Policy; Rochester Institute of Technology

Bruce A. Morrison, Chairman; Morrison Public Affairs Group

The hearing, titled, 'H-1B Visas: Designing a Program to Meet the Needs of the U.S. Economy and U.S. Workers' will take place on Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. EST in 2141 Rayburn. 

The hearing will be available to watch online at this date and time at:  http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/hear_03312011.html

??  Where  are the  witnesses  from the Tech/Engineering Associations ?

Mar 30, 2011 6:27 PM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to EngiNERD

Donald Neufeld? This could be good! Ron Hira? Wonderful! "Meet the needs .... of U.S. Workers"??? You mean Washington remembers we exist? This cold be good. 

Mar 31, 2011 11:02 AM IndiamTechie IndiamTechie  says: in response to Gabe

Nothing wrong with settlements, I was merely pointing out to the folks who were talking abt. "game changer" and "Infosys will crumble".."this is the beginning of the end" etc..

What kind of restitution are u talking abt. for Palmer..what hardship did he go through..he still works at Infosys ! makes his pay..his case is still weak..he was forced to write some B1 invitation letters against his wishes ??!! and his boss talked him down because he refused to do so ??!!..I can understand he must have been crushed..

He saw an opportunity to sue and he is taking it. Nothing that I wouldn't do either. But letz not kid abt. restitution. He has nicely embellished his story too..death threats  like Infosys hired the Indian mafia to take care of him may be ?!  He is an opportunist.

I will respect him if he wins his millions and gives the money to someone who actually lost a job because of foreign labor.

Infosys can settle right now..I think they are waiting to make sure this does not trigger further lawsuits. They have to raise the bar to discourage others from doing the same thing. The company can pay all itz employees for the next 5 years even if they dont make a single dime starting right now. Thatz what they have in their balance sheet under "cash assets"

I still think the right approach to solve immigration (illegal and excessive immigration) problems is to target American companies and individuals who are recipients of such services. If there is cheese in the house a hungry mouse will find itz way.

Mar 31, 2011 3:24 PM Gabe Gabe  says:

In response to this:

"...my prediction here is your fellow American and his lawyer are out to make money. If they defeat the motion to arbitrate and also defeat the subsequent appeal and win a jury trial, the payout will be millions more than what the company is willing to offer now. The case will be settled for an undisclosed amount."

I'd point you to this snippet from the interview Tennant did with Ken Mendelsohn, Palmer's lawyer:


Tennant: Would you consider a settlement offer from Infosys?

Mendelsohn: Yes, I'd always entertain a settlement offer in any case, mainly because in a lawsuit such as this, the only thing I can do, really, is seek monetary compensation for my client anyway. That's really what you go with. I'm just a street lawyer in Montgomery, Alabama. I can't solve all the world's problems, and I can't really force a whole lot of changes with this lawsuit. So it's a matter of protecting my client. He is in a very tough situation working in this environment. So we would consider a settlement where they could do something to make his job condition better than it was. Overall-he's said it before, and he's stressed it to me-there are a lot of good things about Infosys, and there are a lot of bad things about it involving certain people. But he loves his clients, he loves the work he does, and if there's a way to work out some sort of a settlement, that's kind of where you go with any case. So yes, I'd entertain one.


He doesn't say it outright, but it sure sounds like he'd be perfectly happy with a settlement, and settlements are never as big as jury trial damages -- that's why companies opt for settlements in the first place.

Also, specifically referencing this sentence of yours:

"...the payout will be millions more than what the company is willing to offer now."

I've read nothing anywhere about Infosys being willing to offer Palmer any sort of settlement at the moment. From what I can tell (and speak up, please, if you've read different), nothing's been put on the table.

One final thing: there are a whole lot of people out to make money off lawsuits. Most are greedy, but some just want restitution. Given everything we've heard, Palmer sounds like the latter, and until we see some sort of evidence that reveals him as a greedy crook, let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

Apr 2, 2011 11:39 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to IndiamTechie

Indian techie has forgotten one big thing here. Infosys is the villain. By bringing in superfluous foreign workers, Indosys is harming American professionals and prolonging the recession. And by skirting and defying our immigration and work visa laws to do it, they have crossed the line into fraud, which is a crime. They will not get what they deserve from this lawsuit. What they deserve is to be kicked out of all US business and a permanent debarrment from returning.

Meanwhile, Americans will have to get back to wondering out loud why our own government decided to give our livelihoods away. Globalism is bad, and we need to back away from it and return to a more self-sufficient stance as a nation. We need to return guestworker visas to their proper use and prevent them from being used as immigration visas.

Apr 4, 2011 10:42 AM IndianTechie IndianTechie  says: in response to Dolores

I Understand Dolores. I say punish the (h1) slave traffickers (like infosys) and those who use them (american companies)..desiring slave labor is not new..it has happened before in this nation...but slavery was not abolished by just punishing slaves and the traffickers..slavery was abolished by declaring the act of taking slave labor illegal.

Again...If u don't want the mouse, hide the cheese. If cheese is left in the open u will forever be hunting the mouse.

Follows this case closely..You are going to get very very disappointed. Globalization is not an agenda the rest of the world pushed on America but the other way around.

Apr 4, 2011 11:33 AM Harhar Harhar  says: in response to IndianTechie

Well, I am Indian too and can understand the kind of "logic" Indiantechie uses.  It goes like this ..."It may be your house, but you left the door open, and I came in and I saw the cheese lying around, I was hungry...and now you wanna blame me ? It was all your fault that you left the door open ! Your cheese was not locked up too !... hey, you know I am a mouse although I was pretending to be an elephant !"

Not something that would stand up in Court

Apr 4, 2011 3:59 PM gabe gabe  says: in response to Dolores

"Globalism is bad, and we need to back away from it and return to a more self-sufficient stance as a nation."

Right there is what a friend of mine would call a personalized axiomatic argument. He's very fond of telling me that our perceptions of the world are based on our own axioms -- for example, I am a religious man, and he is not, and so our understandings of what constitutes the purpose of love (to name but one point of friendly contention) differ widely. I see the world through a religious lens; my friend sees it through what he would call a "realistic" lens (though, of course, I would disagree that my lens is unrealistic); and so there is a fundamental difference in how we craft our arguments, since we base them on completely different axioms.

The same is true here. The argument for or against globalism is inherently axiomatic. Either we intrinsically believe that the world should be viewed as a divided whole, or we believe it to be the sum of its constituent parts -- a deceptively small distinction. Regardless, since personal axioms rarely change, using them as the bases for our posts is an invitation for us to be annoyed at each other for a while, only to come back to where we were before. It might feed the trolls, but it won't carry the conversation forward.

Personally, I hope the Feds kick the teeth out of Infosys. I also hope the investigation does NOT negatively affect those H-1B holders who are working their asses off every day to take care of their loved ones. I have a number of Indian friends, and they deserve what we take for granted.

Jul 25, 2011 7:35 PM Rick Rick  says:

What we need is proper reform in out nation, across all levels of society. We cant have corporations doing this kind of crap. Your average immigration lawyer shouldn't have to milk the system any way they can just so someone doesn't have to wait 5 years for a green card.


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