Immigration Fraud Whistleblower Likely to receive a $5M Bounty from Infosys’s $34M False Claims Act Settlement: Is Your Business Immigration Program Prepared for a Similar Whistleblower Attack?

Author: Mary E. Pivec & John Staige Davis, V; Williams Mullen (North Carolina & Virginia, USA)

On October 30, 2013, Infosys Limited (“Infosys”), an Indian IT company, signed a settlement agreement with the United States in the Eastern District of Texas to resolve allegations that Infosys knowingly presented to employees of the United States false and fraudulent claims for property or approval in violation of the federal False Claims Act (FCA) by engaging in systemic visa fraud and abuse, and that Infosys otherwise failed to comply with the employment verification provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. 

The complaint alleges that company officials engaged in a pattern of immigration fraud and abuse including:

 

  • Providing falsified documents to foreign national employees supporting the issuance of B-1 business visitor visas and coaching employees to deceive U.S. consular and border officials into believing that such employees were coming to the United States for legitimate business visitation purposes and not to engage in local employment;
  • Writing and revising contracts for the purpose of concealing  that B-1 visa holders would be performing work intended to be performed only by United States citizens and authorized H-1B temporary professional workers; and
  • Instructing foreign national employees who were applying for H-1B visas to lie to U.S. consular officials about where they would be working in the U.S. if the worksites differed from the authorized worksites stated in their Labor Condition Applications.

The theory of the government’s case is that, as a condition of payment for services rendered to the United States, Infosys made an implied certification that the services were performed by individuals who were legally eligible to provide such services in the United States.  The government’s complaint alleges that Infosys defrauded the government regarding the legal status of its workforce and otherwise engaged in immigration fraud in order to increase profits, minimize the cost of securing visas, maximize flexibility in deploying workers, obtain unfair advantage over competitors, and avoid tax liabilities.  Infosys has denied all allegations except for those relating to I-9 violations.

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