There are two iron rules of immigration-related fraud:
- If someone violates the immigration law they are likely to violate other laws, too.
- Fraud is often inflicted on later arrivals by earlier arrivals from the same country.
A recent case in Chicago was exactly in line with these two rules. Richard and Maribel Tinimbang, descendants of Filipino immigrants, charged with swindling $45 million in Medicare funds, were also charged with immigration fraud in connection with their effort to obtain forced household labor from a new arrival from the Philippines.
Three companies owned by Richard Tinimbang's mother, Josephine, according to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times, "paid bribes and kickbacks in exchange for referring elderly and disabled patients for treatment that was funded by Medicare; ignored doctors who refused to certify beneficiaries as being in need of in-home treatment; and falsified medical records to make patients appear sicker than they actually were."
With all that money floating around, you would think that the Tinimbangs would have been able to pay the household help a living wage, but no, they opted instead for one of the more outrageous uses of the H-1B program in recent history.
They secured an H-1B visa for a woman from the Philippines a few years ago, saying that she would work as business analyst at one of their three companies, but when she arrived they put her to work as a maid and nanny at the home of the younger Tinimbangs. They threatened to send her back to the islands if she did not surrender her passport and sign a "seven-year 'servitude contract'".
This is only the most recent in a series of Medicare scams involving Filipino-Americans and in-home health care services in the Chicago area, according to Inquirer.net, which appears to be a Filipino-American entity. Seven other Filipinos, in addition to the Tinimbangs, were among the indicted in the most recent case.