This is getting monotonous. On May 4 we reported a middle-sized case of H-1B fraud involving both the loss of jobs to U.S. residents and the exploitation of Indian workers by Indian criminal employers in Virginia.
On May 12 we wrote about a somewhat similar case in California, and today we have the third case in the set, this time in Memphis, Tenn. Three cases in 12 days, all in the federal courts.
This time the corrupt employer, Ramesh Basa, has pled out and has agreed that the feds can seize six pieces of his real estate valued at half a million dollars as part of the deal. The agreement also included a joint recommendation by attorneys on both sides of the case for a one-year jail term for Basa.
This time, a slightly different technique was used to obtain H-1B workers for non-existent jobs (with the workers rented out later to other employers). Instead of creating phony little corporations as the alleged employers, as in the other two cases, Basa's team forged the names of real managers of existing companies on the applications.
For all the grubby details, see the indictment in PACER file 2:16-cr-20102-SHL.
Court records show that there was also an earlier civil suit over minimum wages, filed by one worker and settled out of court, that might have tipped the authorities to Basa's activities. The settlement, as is usually the case, was sealed. (The somewhat similar plea agreements, however, are public records.)
Of course the real problem with H-1B is not with these middling illegal operations. It is the economic distortion and the denial of jobs to Americans that happens all the time, with large H-1B employers all carefully following the lax rules that the Congress and the administration have created.