The company was accused of acquiring B-1 visas which allow immigrants to conduct temporary business in the U.S rather than the more expensive H-1B visas for their staff.
Indian multinational tech company, Larsen & Toubro Technology Services will pay US$9,928,000 as settlement for committing visa fraud between 2014 to 2019, a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Carolina said.
According to the authorities, the firm has admitted to violating the False Claims Act by acquiring inexpensive B-1 visas, rather than more expensive H-1B visas for its personnel employed at the offices in Edison New Jersey. During the time of the crime, B-1 visas, which do not allow holders to work in the United States, ranged from $200 to $300 while H1-B visas were between approximately $4,000 to $6,000.
The investigation into the case began after a whistleblower filed a complaint in the United States District Court in Charleston, South Carolina. Investigations were carried out by Homeland Security Investigations, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center Fraud Detection Unit, the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, a news release noted.
“This settlement is a success in deterring companies in seeking to evade and violate the laws and regulations governing the non-immigrant visa programs managed by the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security,” said Chris Hileman, special agent in charge, Department of State, Office of Inspector General.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will hold accountable those who skirt this country’s visa requirements,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina Adair F. Boroughs. “Our immigration laws are intended to protect American jobs for American workers, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure companies securing work visas for foreign nationals strictly comply with those laws.”