Looks like some insurgents are about to go all Jessie Jackson upside the high-tech junta. I look forward to the days of American techies marching into the Curry Dens like Motorola and forcing the mouth-breathing slumdog scabs out of their cozy cubicles.  This just showed up in my email:



BFJ has joined with Stand Up! Chicago, an umbrella group opposed to a proposed U.S. trade deal, to rally for putting Americans back to work and stoping the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact. The rally wil take place in downtown Chicago at 11am sharp. Projected turn out is now at least 1,000 and could reach 1,500 or more.

Chicagoans--long know for big shoulders, contentious politics and spirited rallies--has some bright minds atop their big shoulders. They are putting boots on the ground for a long overdue dose of street heat. They have a sharp press operation, receiving advance publicity for the rally.

Stand Up! Chicago has already targeted Motorola & IBM for corporate freeloading, bloated CEO salaries, and dismal job creation so BFJ will be highlighting Motorola & IBM's recruitment abroad for their Illinois job openings. Since 2008, Motorola used the H1-b program to recuit abroad to fill 384 job openings in Illinois, with annual wages of $26,480,732. Stand Up! Chicago is continuing to keep Motorola in their sights and will be thrilled to see IT professionals organized and represented at the rally.

At the rally, you'll see burly baby-boomer Hard Hats marching with tattooed, pierced baristas and hip-hop high-schoolers. Mild-mannered teachers will be beside lawyers attired in business casual. All rallying to put Americans back to work and kill these trade deals. If this doesn't convince you to join, Ben & Jerry's offer of free ice cream maybe the "sweet" that seals the deal for you.

Reply to this message to meet beforehand so we can join the rally together.

We have a slick brochure that was designed by one of our members, so If you are going to a Labor Day rally and want to distribute this please let us know.

Very Good News
Senator Durbin, in a speech to business leaders outside Waukegan, IL, laid out the negative impacts the h1-b program was having. What's stunning is that the topic was even brought up! Outside of the IT industry, these corporate programs are never addressed, so it's been a challenge just to explain what's happening to us and our high-tech jobs.

I read this as an indication that the Senator is gearing up to launch this battle to stop corporate discrimination. Make sure that you are also gearing up to join this battle by talking to your friends and family FIRST. Get them on your side; they will be your support team and create openings for you and BFJ to build a grassroots movement to pass H1-b & l-1 reform.

the Team at BFJ,

Donna, Mike, Barbara M, Barbara G & John R.


tunnel rat posted on August 21, 2011 12:21

Fellow Insurgent Donna Conroy at Bright Future Jobs is leading a rally in Palo Alto on Aug. 27th 2011 to protest the ethnic cleansing at the hands of the IOR (Indian Outsourcing Regime) and the high-tech junta.  Here are the details:


On August 27th, Bright Future Jobs and Black Economic Council (BEC) will lead a rally to put Americans Back to Work at the Apple Computer Retail Store in Palo Alto, CA. located at 451 University Ave. The protest will begin sharply at 11:45 AM.

Please join us and let Steve Jobs and Sergey Brin know that you want them to show that they care as much about America as you do.

As the American Jobs Crisis deepens, Bright Future Jobs and the Black Economic Council aren't just talking -- we're rallying--and we already have press coverage lined up!

Raise your voice with us on August 27th, and demand that Apple and Google take a leadership role in Silicon Valley and sign the following Pledge to America:

  1. Recruit Americans FIRST. Have their contractors and developers do the same.
  2. Use HR Recruiters based in the US
  3. Freeze Off-shore Projects
  4. Start Planning to repatriate US jobs
  5. Show their EEO Data to San Jose Mercury News


Why are Apple, Google, Yahoo, Applied Materials and Oracle hiding their EEO hiring data from the San Jose Mercury News? What don't they want the public to see? As the American Jobs Crisis deepens, America needs to know what is really happening to hiring practices within our borders.

James Otto, the lawyer representing the IT professionals displaced from Molina, will be there and speaking to the press, along with Donna Conroy, our director.  Yolanda Lewis, a former software engineer will represent the BEC.

If you can't join us physically, how about joining us in spirit? We've had to borow to cover expenses and desperately need professionally printed posters like the one above to convey that we are serious about representing IT professionals in this fight to restore the American economy. 

contribution you can share will do wonders for turning around the juggernaut of job loss.

The team at BFJ,

Donna C., Mike R, Brendan K., Baxter S., Barbara M., Barbara G., John R.



While I am sure that this will be a peaceful protest, at the same time the rest of us hard-core insurgents will continue to seek retribution in our own special way, such as:

1.  Hunting down Desi douchebag and former Molina CIO (and current ACS exec) Amir P. Desai at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, California and having a demonstration to protest his campaigns of occupational aparthied at Molina and ACS.

2.  Slashing tires of collaboratores and delivering cow heads to the lobby of Curry Den Qualcomm in San Diego.

3.  Surrounding the West Coast headquarters of Infosys in Fremont and demanding to see the visa documents and LCAs of all the slumdogs working at 6607 Kaiser Drive.

4.  Incorporating Anonymous-like tactics to take down and infiltrate the web sites of NASSCOM, USINPAC, TiE and every fuckin' Desi bodyshop in New Jersey.

5.  Publishing the personal information of collaborators in corporate America who are displacing US workers with scabs from HCL/Tata/Infosys/Patni/[pick one].

Happy hunting, Insurgents.



As usual, fellow insurgent Patrick Thibodeau is on the case:

Outsourced and fired, IT workers fight back

Workers charge discrimination prompted 2010 Molina Healthcare IT layoff; file suit against employer and its outsourcer

Patrick Thibodeau

August 16, 2011 (Computerworld)

On the day they were fired early last year, about 40 IT employees at Molina Healthcare Inc. had been gathered in a conference room for what they were told would be a planning meeting. At the same time, laptop computers were being collected from the assembled workers' desks.

During the meeting, Molina's then-CIO, Amir Desai, informed the workers that they were being laid off for financial reasons, "not because of [their] performance."

The layoffs came amid rising tensions over a number of issues, including the expanding role of an offshore IT contractor at Molina.

The workers raised the concerns with Desai during the meeting.

"I felt they were expecting us to be asking questions about Cobra and unemployment and all that," said Bonita Shok, one of the laid-off IT employees. "Instead, we were being quite confrontational about why they are laying us off and keeping all these H-1B workers."

"I have never experienced a group of employees who were so angry," said a human resources manager who was in the meeting to answer questions from employees about benefits. The HR manager asked not to be identified.

"They felt their work was being offshored -- they were angry at the H-1B employees that were being hired," said the longtime HR industry veteran who had been hired to execute the IT layoffs at Molina, a managed health care provider that serves Medicaid and Medicare recipients. "I [had] never felt the backlash that I felt from Molina employees."

The employees, who lost their jobs in January 2010, never got answers to their questions about the company's IT outsourcing strategy.

Instead, 18 of them filed a lawsuit in California state court earlier this year against Molina, its CIO at the time and its outsourcing contractor, Cognizant Technology Solutions.

The HR employee, who was later laid off as well, is a witness for the plaintiffs in the case.

The plaintiffs contend, among other things, that they are victims of discrimination due to national origin. The lawsuit charges that the employees were fired because the companies sought to employ people "whose national origin, race and/or ethnicity was exclusively Indian," and didn't want to employ Americans or green-card holders.

Molina contends that the lawsuit is grounded in "falsehoods and malicious gossip." Cognizant has said that the lawsuit is without merit and that it "will vigorously contest it."

Desai, through his attorney, says the lawsuit is itself guilty of "an unfair discriminatory bias." Desai himself has since left Molina.

Of the workers who are part of this suit, 10 brought an earlier claim against Molina that was settled in mediation before this case was filed. The mediation agreements did not settle the case for all the workers and did not include current lawsuit defendants Cognizant and Desai.

While what happened at Molina is still in dispute, job displacement because of offshore outsourcing is a fact of life in today's IT workplace. While there are no government numbers that detail its extent, the broad outlines of the story told by the Molina workers should be familiar to other IT workers.

Outsourcing engagements often start when offshore IT services companies bring in workers, typically on H-1B or L-1 visas, to learn a company's IT processes. Then the work is moved overseas. Molina employees contend that's what happened to them.

James Otto, the attorney representing the Molina employees in the lawsuit, claims that about 200 visa-holding workers have been brought into the company.

Otto has told the former Molina IT workers that such activity is a form of segregation. "Today you're being segregated based on your national origin," he said.

Several years before the layoff, there were about 70 or 80 IT employees at Molina, according to a group of more than a dozen former Molina IT workers who met with Computerworld late last month. Many of the former Molina workers asked that their names not be published.

At that time, Cognizant had a small presence at the firm, mostly to supplement internal work. The employees said they felt no threat at the time. In fact, said Shok, "there was a feeling of camaraderie on the team."

But beginning around 2007 things started to change.

Most of the immediate IT managers were either laid off or quit, according to the employees. At the same time, the number of contractors increased. The lawsuit alleges that Desai and his management team "hire[d] and promote[d] only Indian nationals to management positions."

Desai, through his attorney, says the allegation is false. Of the six IT managers reporting to him, two were of Indian descent, he said.

"My client is dismayed both at the false allegations in Mr. Otto's lawsuit and its ethnically inflammatory undertone suggesting that Mr. Desai is biased against Americans and favors Indians solely because he is 'of Indian descent,' " wrote Desai's attorney, Edward Raskin in an email to Computerworld.

Raskin also points out that Desai was born in the U.S. and graduated from a U.S. university. He says the lawsuit avoids certain facts. "For example, some of the employees who lost their jobs at Molina were 'of Indian descent,' which contradicts Mr. Otto's suggestion that Mr. Desai and the company only favored Indians," he said.

But from the perspective of the employees, the workplace was changing.

The IT staff had been diverse, and represented seemingly every nationality, much like the population of Long Beach, Calif., where Molina is based.

The employees said they liked working at Molina, and felt they were recognized for their work, supported on the job, and were also part of a friendly environment that marked holidays with events like potluck dinners.

But the corporate culture changed as the contractors were added. The holiday potluck dinners ended while Indian workers were taken out to lunch on a major India holiday, the former Molina employees said.

Some meetings became so dominated by Indian workers that the discussions would sometimes shift to an Indian language, which added to a growing sense of isolation among the other Molina IT employees, the workers said.

"I've been to several meetings where it started off in English and then one of the Indian directors would start talking in Hindi, and then all the other Indians will start talking in the same language," said a plaintiff who asked to remain anonymous. "And then you would have to say 'hello, hello, we don't understand.'"

The HR manager who had been hired to manage the IT layoffs recalled an initial visit to the IT department. "When I walked in the IT department, all I saw were Indians. It was very difficult to find anybody in the immediate environment that was of non-Indian descent."

The former HR manager said the makeup of the department "was also a reflection of the leadership team ... the majority of [Desai's] direct reports were Indian."

The Molina workers said they trained Cognizant workers on the company's IT processes over time prior to the layoffs. They were told that the contractors were taking over all the production and their role would shift to new developments and technologies.

That explanation did little to lessen fears that they were being pushed aside. "There was a point where I felt we were just being written off," said David de Hilster, one of the laid-off IT professionals.

In the weeks leading up to the layoff, Molina employees began spending more and more time training Cognizant workers. The process became increasingly "urgent" and rushed, he said.

Another laid-off employee, Charles, said that "one person came into our department to learn all of our processes, which is impossible. We're multiple types of employees doing deployments, doing development work. No one person could possibly gather all that much knowledge in two weeks' time."

Charles asked that his last name not be used.

Desai's attorney, Raskin, wrote that his client "was trying to maintain quality and keep IT costs down at the direction of his superiors. To accomplish this, Mr. Desai worked with his managers to identify processes and projects that could be outsourced at a lower cost.

"The question was not: 'Whose job can we eliminate and replace with a contractor?' The question was: What processes are being done in-house that could be outsourced at a lower overall cost without sacrificing quality of efficiency?" he added.

Otto has assembled witnesses to support the lawsuit.

Among them is Laura Onufrock, Molina's former IT department budget manager.

In lawsuit filings, Molina said it compared the cost of imported labor to the cost of U.S. workers at the company and found that the average pay for U. S. workers was $50 per hour versus $72 per hour for the Indian contractors and $26 an hour for offshore workers, according to the lawsuit. Based on Onufrock's analysis, the lawsuit claims that after the mass layoff last year, the IT department exceeded its annual budget by over $5.5 million three months into 2010.

Onufrock isn't a plaintiff. Asked why she was acting as a witness in this case, she said, "they've done a lot of damage to people and I'm hoping I can help."

Molina disputes the contention that the outsourcing efforts didn't cut IT costs.

"American taxpayers are demanding that health care companies reduce administrative costs in order to provide better benefits at a lower price," the company said in a statement.

"Like most leading health care companies, Molina has put in place a variety of measures to reduce costs, including the outsourcing of labor-intensive administrative tasks to specialized firms. Working with Cognizant, an established leader in outsourcing, Molina embarked on a successful program to reduce its overhead so it could focus on what it does best: providing America's underserved communities with access to the best possible health care," the company said.

It is unclear how many Molina contractors were on either H-1B or L-1 visas, which are used for company transfers. The distinction is important.

Companies can hire H-1B workers without first trying to hire U.S. workers, unless they are considered "H-1B dependent" -- a status that applies to companies where more than 15% of the people in the workforce hold H-1B visas. Cognizant is in that category, but it doesn't have to prove that it tried to hire U.S. citizens before hiring H-1B visa holders for jobs that pay more than $60,000 and/or require master's degrees.

"I don't think the H-1B dependent provisions are strong enough to protect U.S. workers," said Daniel Costa, an immigration policy analyst at the Economic Policy Institute.

Molina, which employs 4,200 people, said it has less than 50 H-1B employees "and they were hired only in cases when it was necessary to cast a wider net for particular skills."

A Cognizant spokesperson said that the company has never had an employer-employee relationship "between the plaintiffs and Cognizant, and therefore the plaintiffs have no grounds for, among other things, the employment discrimination or wrongful termination claims against Cognizant."

Cognizant employs 118,000 people worldwide -- 20,000 in the U.S. The outsourcer doesn't disclose how many of its workers hold visas.

But the company did note that it has more than 60 full-time recruiters in the U.S., and that it recruited at 17 colleges and universities last year. It said it has 500 job openings in the U.S.

"Cognizant is a job creator that strives to provide our clients with the best talent available anywhere," the company spokesperson said.

A week after the layoffs at Molina, one of the fired employees said she was told by someone still working there that about 30 H-1B hiring notifications had been posted on a lunchroom bulletin board at the company. The posting indicated that U.S. workers couldn't be found for these positions. It is unclear what company was trying to fill the positions. But this wasn't the first time such notices had appeared, and it reminded this employee of what she had said earlier to someone in HR who was involved in recruitment.

"How dare you hire H-1Bs when there are so many unemployed Americans out there that fit the job description better?" the IT worker said.


I would be interested in hearing from any of the brave insurgents involved in this lawsuit, especially if they are in need of work and live in SoCal.

tunnel rat posted on August 9, 2011 09:12

When capitalism's biggest cheerleader Fox Business News hires Lou Dobbs and gives voice to H-1B basher Ron Hira, you know that the days are numbered for the slumdog slave trade.


Posted in:   Tags: ,
tunnel rat posted on August 3, 2011 23:49

More bad news for slumdog slave traders Infosys (from CIS):


Infosys, Big H-1B User, Loses Case but Wins Secrecy

By David North, August 1, 2011

Infosys, the big Indian body shop and extensive user of the H-1B program, has, in effect, lost an age-discrimination case in federal court, but everything about the case is shrouded in secrecy.

It is one of those settled-out-of-court arrangements where Infosys must have paid a sum of money to the U.S. citizen against whom it discriminated, but part of the agreement is that the details of the settlement must remain a secret. The little guy gets some money, which is good, but the big guy's operations remain a closed book. It is frustrating to onlookers.

This is the back story:

A 58-year-old U.S. citizen who has spent his life as a computer programmer applied for a job with Infosys. (I know his name, but it is irrelevant.)

Infosys is the largest of the H-1B users in the U.S. and its recent efforts to misuse the B-1 business visa got it some negative attention from the New York Times, as I described in an earlier blog.

Some time ago the U.S. citizen responded to a help-wanted ad in which Infosys noted a maximum experience requirement; it said, in effect, that it did not want anyone who was too experienced. The applicant had more than a quarter-century of the right kind of experience, so he was not hired.

The applicant, correctly, figured that this was age discrimination and took the case to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; court records show that the agency must have agreed with him and gave him a "permit to sue" decision.

Then the applicant hired a lawyer, used the EEOC document, and went into U.S. District Court. Prior to hearing any evidence, the judge ordered arbitration, but before that could begin, the two parties settled out of court. The judge then closed the case, unless the terms of the settlement are not met. We gather it was a long, drawn-out, two-year ordeal for the plaintiff.

That's all we know for sure, but there are some pretty clear implications.

1) Infosys, and similar outfits, probably will not insert a maximum experience element in their future ads.

2) While this case presumably resulted in a transfer of cash to the discriminated-against citizen – a totally good thing – it cannot be as useful to the anti-age-discrimination, anti-H-1B cause as a public court decision would have been.

3) It is probably better for the cause if the plaintiff (perhaps supported by an advocacy organization) forces the matter into a public trial, rather than accepting an out-of-court settlement, but that's not always possible, maybe it is only rarely possible.

If any reader knows of similar court cases, please share them with me at snrascal@yahoo.com.

tunnel rat posted on July 30, 2011 11:41

This is just the beginning as Operation Uganda II ramps up:

ICE Investigating VA School's Visa Program

Dozens of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided offices at the University of Northern Virginia's Annandale campus Thursday.

The University of Northern Virginia is an unaccredited, for-profit private university that calls itself the most popular American university for students from India. Thousands of students are registered at three locations in northern Virginia.

Agents removed boxes of documents from a building on Little River Turnpike where the university leases two suites.

The university temporarily can't accept any foreign students, reads a notice posted on the door of the offices. UNVA students must leave the country immediately if they are unable “to continue to attend classes and maintain their active status in a manner required by federal government regulations,” the notice reads.

“Today, officials from ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) served University of Northern Virginia officials with a Notice of Intent to Withdraw (NOIW) UNVA’s authorization to admit foreign students,” read a statement released by ICE spokeswoman Cori W. Bassett.

The school was told it can no longer participate in that program, but no specific reason was disclosed.

The school's chancellor provided a few clues Friday.

"The warrant included many items such as computer hardware equipment and paper documentation, which were all subsequently taken into government control," Chancellor Dr. David Lee said. "We were told that they would be returned early next week after they're copied."

On Friday, university officials said they are cooperating and have nothing to hide, News4's Jane Watrel reported.

"We want to emphasize that UNVA is open for business, classes are being held as scheduled, and as long as students attend classes as required, they will continue to remain in status," Lee said.

The raid is big news in India, where most of the schools students come from, Watrel reported. An Indian advocacy group based in D.C. went to the campus to investigate.

"Students are scared," student advocate Satish Vemana said. "Not only students. There are at least a lot of parents back home. They're crying, they're calling us because they send those kids here for their dreams."

No charges have been filed nor people arrested but the school is being investigated to see whether it conforms to federal regulations for the administration of student visas. Those regulations were tightened after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Foreign-born students at the campus Thursday said they have attended classes in the building and earned degrees from the school. One said the school helps students get their student visas.

If the investigation discovers the school improperly handled student visas, the school could face severe penalties.

An attempt to turn Molina Healthcare Inc. into another curry den has resulted in a major lawsuit against the company.  The insurgents that are bringing this suit have a lot of ammo on their side and a good lawyer.  For the rest of you fucking collaborators that want to get in bed with Cognizant or any other slumdog sweatshop, you should watch your back.

Fired IT workers file lawsuit claiming H-1B workers replaced them

Workers file suit against Molina Healthcare and its outsourcer, Cognizant

Patrick Thibodeau

July 12, 2011 (Computerworld)

Eighteen IT workers in California have filed a lawsuit against their former employer claiming they were replaced by H-1B workers from India and then laid off in violation of the state's anti-discrimination laws.

In the lawsuit, the 18 workers say that IT managers at Molina Healthcare Inc. increasingly catered to the Indian workers while leaving U.S. workers, mostly security analysts and programmers who earned at least $75,000 a year, feeling excluded prior getting laid off last year.

The lawsuit, filed in April in Los Angeles Superior Court against Molina, its CIO at the time, and Molina's outsourcer, Cognizant Technology Solutions, contends that over a period of several years the U.S. workers were marginalized as the IT department became dominated by Indian nationals.

The laid off IT workers used anecdotes to make part of their case.

For instance, the workers describe an IT department that took to celebrating Indian holidays, while Indian managers "actively discouraged U.S. workers from celebrating U.S. holidays and traditions, such as Christmas, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, by assigning mandatory work that, in order to be timely completely, required work during holidays traditionally celebrated in America."

The lawsuit says that non-Indian workers were kept from participating in critical decision making processes "for the purpose of putting them at a disadvantage to the employees of Indian descent."

It also charges that the IT management team only hired and promoted Indian nationals

Some meetings that had long been conducted in English, would "on many occasions" be conducted in "the native language of Indian employees," the lawsuit contends.

The lawsuit makes a number of charges, including discrimination based on national origin.

"The IT department was known as little India," said James Otto, an attorney for the 18 former Molina IT employees. The 18 workers were among 40 that were laid off in January, 2010. The 18 workers that filed suit claim the layoffs were made to make room for H-1B workers.

"They just wanted to fire the Americans, and that's what happened. It wasn't a downsizing, it wasn't an outsourcing, it was bringing in foreigners onto American soil to replace American workers. That [was] the scheme and it's going on around the country," said Otto.

Molina officials, in a written response to a Computerworld query, said the action is "nothing more than a shakedown lawsuit brought by a plaintiff's attorney who -- when the company refused his ridiculous financial demands -- filed a legal action grounded in falsehoods and malicious gossip."

Otto said he never made any demands and he had initially sought mediation.

Molina, in its statement, also said that "we will win in court because specific allegations in the lawsuit have been examined and found false. The fact that the general allegations also provide no basis for legal claims confirms that this plaintiffs' attorney included them solely for media attention."

Molina said it is an American company "employing more than 4,200 Americans," and that "less than 50 of our employees are H1B visa holders and they were hired only in cases when it was necessary to cast a wider net for particular skills."

The lawsuit says that on Jan. 14, 2010, one day after the U.S. Department of Labor approved Cognizant's application for 40 H-1B workers, Molina fired 40 programmers, security analysts and managers.

Molina, in response, said that particular Cognizant filing "had nothing to whatsoever to do with Molina and not a single person was hired at Molina based on that application."

Cognizant is named in the lawsuit, in part, for not trying to find qualified U.S. workers for the positions.

It also claims that the wages for the H-1B employees were approximately 50% less than that paid to their American counterparts.

In a written response to a query about the lawsuit, Cognizant said it "takes legal and regulatory compliance very seriously. It is Cognizant's view that this lawsuit is without merit, and we will vigorously contest it and pursue all legal remedies that may be available to us."

"The healthcare industry is one of the largest industry segments that Cognizant serves," said Cognizant. "Our expertise enables our clients to be more competitive in the marketplace, thereby enhancing their ability to provide affordable, quality healthcare to consumers."

Otto said allegations in the lawsuit are backed by direct testimony. He noted that Molina's former manager of budget and regulatory reports and audits testified that IT department expenses increased beyond its budget after the layoffs.

The lawsuit also alleges that in 2007 and 2008 "Molina learned of numerous material violations of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) but did not take any action with respect these violations."

When Molina's IT department runs a test on new software projects, the IT employees are required to mask the data embedded in the software to protect privacy, according to the lawsuit. The suit alleges that that Molina's H-1B employees would send patient names, Social Security numbers, addresses, birth dates and full medical files to employees in India.

The lawsuit also alleges that on Jan. 12, 2010, Molina IT employees spoke with their manager about discrimination and HIPPA issues. Two days later, according to the lawsut, the employees who complained were included in a broad layoff action.

Molina, in response, said that this claim is false, and that it "rigorously protects patient privacy and fully complies with all federal and state laws" including HIPPA.


Del. man accused of abusing visa program, misleading immigrants

WILMINGTON -- Dozens of highly educated immigrants, most from India, were brought to Delaware over the past five years after being promised high-paying computer consulting jobs, only to find themselves warehoused at an apartment in Newark with little work and no pay for months and sometimes years.

Federal prosecutors charge that the man who brought them to the United States -- Srinivas Doppalapudi -- also may have inappropriately collected thousands of dollars in reimbursement from some to pay for their temporary worker visa fees.

Doppalapudi, an Indian citizen who is a permanent resident of the United States, is accused of conspiracy and violating immigration laws by lying to the government on temporary worker applications.

Also charged in the criminal complaint is Rakesh Mandava, who is described as an employee of Doppalapudi in court papers.

Doppalapudi's attorney, Christopher S. Koyste, said his client "made mistakes" in the way his companies completed required immigration paperwork.

"Mr. Doppalapudi greatly regrets these mistakes and understands the gravity of the situation as it not only affects him, but also the people that he employs and the companies for whom he provides services," Koyste said.

Doppalapudi lives in Delaware and operates five computer consulting companies -- each specializing in a different type of programming or service -- and he employs more than 90 people, Koyste said.

"All of the companies are going through a process of review in order to be 100 percent compliant with all United States immigration laws," he said, adding they will cooperate with the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John C. Snyder declined to comment Thursday, saying the complaint speaks for itself.

Mandava is represented by Delaware Federal Public Defender Edson Bostic, who declined to comment.

Missing pieces

Charging documents on file at U.S. District Court in Wilmington allege Doppalapudi submitted nearly 500 temporary worker applications from 2005 to 2010, a number of which prosecutors now believe were falsified.

Most of the immigrants were brought to Delaware on the H-1B visa program, where employees can be brought in only if it is for an existing job to work in a position that requires at least a bachelor's degree. They must also be paid at least the prevailing wage or more, according to immigration law expert Matthew Hirsch. The employer, not the temporary worker, also is supposed to pay the fees associated with the visa that can cost more than $2,000 per application.

If it is done properly, Hirsch said, it costs more, not less, to hire H-1B workers.

On the surface, Doppalapudi's Delaware-based companies -- identified as Technosoft Inc., American IT Group Inc., Streamline Technologies Inc., GK Soft Inc. and PS Tech Inc. in court papers -- appeared to meet that criteria. The employees were all to be paid about $48,500 to $77,000 a year to fulfill computer consulting contracts Doppalapudi's companies had with businesses, including some in Delaware, according to court papers. But investigators found that in a number of cases, the jobs on the applications did not exist.

In one instance, Doppalapudi submitted applications for nine people to fulfill a contract with a pain management clinic in Dover, seven of which were approved. But the operator of that clinic said he never signed any such contract and never hired any of the employees.

In another case, a downstate liquor store operator hired a single employee through Doppalapudi, but prosecutors said Doppalapudi submitted paperwork for four full-time employees -- not including the one hired -- three of whom were approved.

Left out to dry

Prosecutors charge that through these bogus applications, Doppalapudi was building up a workforce he would house at company apartments and either not pay -- or pay only minimally -- while he waited for actual work or contracts to materialize.

Investigators describe this practice as "benching."

Hirsch said employers are able to engage in abusive practices like this because the workers are intimidated or fearful for their jobs, or do not understand how the system works.

One temporary worker told investigators he was interviewed at Technosoft's office in India and was offered a $60,000-per-year job at the company's Delaware location.

When he arrived in February 2008, however, he was put up at a Newark apartment owned by Technosoft and frequently was not paid despite doing work on "in-house" projects at the company. After complaining, he said he was sent to a client site for several months in 2009 -- and received the promised compensation -- but then was returned to "the bench" and was unpaid, according to prosecutors, until May 2010.

A different man told investigators that shortly after earning a master's at an American university, he was hired by Technosoft in January 2008 for a $50,000-a-year job, but said it was not until May 2010 that he was put to work and received the promised salary.

In the interim, he said, he shared an apartment with four or five other Technosoft employees and those roommates would change when "new batches of employees" arrived. At one point, he said Doppalapudi told him he needed to go out and find his own client to fulfill the terms of his visa.

During that time, he said, he was given money by Mandava to pay for food he purchased for himself and the others living in the apartment.

Hirsch said it is disappointing to hear about a case like this because "legitimate employers from all around the United States make good use of the H-1B visa to fill appropriate and legitimate needs."

He said this case appears to involve one bad organization intent on skirting the law.


This can't be good for notorious slumdog slave traders Infosys.  The New York Times reports that there are even more whistleblowers are coming forward:

Indian Company Under Scrutiny Over U.S. Visas

A giant Indian outsourcing company with thousands of employees in the United States is facing an expanding federal investigation prompted by claims from an American whistle-blower that it misused short-term visitors’ visas to bring in low-cost workers from India.

Accusations that the company, Infosys Technologies, repeatedly violated the terms of business visitor visas were first raised in a lawsuit filed in February in Alabama by Jack Palmer, an Infosys project manager. Aside from Mr. Palmer, at least two other Infosys managers in the United States have submitted internal whistle-blower reports pointing to Indians on business visitor visas who were performing longer-term work not authorized under those visas, according to internal documents and current Infosys managers.

In May, Infosys acknowledged that it had received a subpoena from a federal grand jury in Texas seeking information about the company’s use of the visitor documents, known as B-1 visas, which are easier to obtain. This month, N. R. Narayana Murthy, an Infosys founder, expressed his concern about that investigation at a board meeting in Bangalore, India, in his final address before he retired as company chairman.

“As I leave the board, I feel sad” about the subpoena, he said. “The issue will be decided on its merits in due course,” said Mr. Murthy, who is something of a legend in global business for building the company over three decades from a $250 investment into an outsourcing powerhouse with $6 billion in revenues.

In papers filed in Mr. Palmer’s lawsuit, Infosys denied all his accusations and asked a federal judge to remove the dispute from court and send it to arbitration. In a statement, Infosys said it was committed to “absolute compliance” with American visa requirements and had undertaken an internal review of its practices.

“Infosys is a large and rapidly growing company,” the statement said. “We have made changes over time to certain of our policies relating to the business visa program and we may continue to make improvements in those policies and controls.”

The Infosys inquiry coincides with a broader attack in Congress on longer-term visas, known as H-1B, that Infosys and other Indian companies rely on to bring Indian technology workers to the United States. With unemployment for Americans stubbornly high, lawmakers have become increasingly reluctant to defend H-1B visas, which give temporary residence to highly skilled foreigners. In recent years, the top companies receiving those visas were not American names, but Infosys and another big Indian outsourcing company, Wipro.

Last week, Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, the senior Democrat on the immigration subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced a bill that would increase the wages employers would have to pay H-1B workers, in an effort to ensure they do not undercut Americans. The measure is specifically aimed at Indian outsourcing companies. Last year, Congress added an extra $2,000 to the fee for H-1B visas, in another move aimed at the Indian companies.

Yet the criminal investigation is perhaps the most worrisome development for Infosys, which enjoys a reputation as one of India’s best-run and most respected companies. The events began with Mr. Palmer, 43, a project manager from Alabama who was hired by the company in 2008. In a sworn affidavit he submitted to the federal court, Mr. Palmer said his differences with Infosys management began after he was summoned to a meeting in Bangalore in March 2010. Top executives, he said, discussed ways to “creatively” get around H-1B visa limitations “to fulfill the high demand for its customers at lower cost.”

In general, B-1 visas are granted to business visitors coming to the United States for short stays to attend meetings, conferences or training sessions, or to install specialized equipment. Visitors may not be employed for contract work like H-1B workers, nor can they be paid salaries in this country. There is no annual limit on business visitor visas, whereas H-1B visas are restricted to 85,000 a year.

Mr. Palmer said his supervisors asked him to write letters inviting workers to come from India for sales and training meetings, letters he believed were false. “I refused to write the letters,” he said.

After word got out of his refusal, Mr. Palmer said, he was chastised by his managers and began to receive threats by e-mail and telephone. In October, Infosys has confirmed, Mr. Palmer filed a whistle-blower report about B-1 visa holders from India assigned to projects he or others managed. His report said the B-1 visa holders were doing the same tasks as workers on H-1B visas, including writing and testing software code. Mr. Palmer said he personally knew of at least 60 Indian workers doing contract work on B-1 visas.

Mr. Palmer still works at Infosys. He feels isolated and besieged within the company, according to Kenneth Mendelsohn, his lawyer in Montgomery, who has instructed him not to speak publicly about his experience.

“I’m protecting him as best I can so Infosys doesn’t fire him,” Mr. Mendelsohn said. But Mr. Mendelsohn provided documents and e-mails that he said Mr. Palmer has shared with investigators from the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department.

In one e-mail, another Infosys manager confirmed to Mr. Palmer that three Indians on B-1 visas were “working on client sites” on a contract with Baker Hughes, an oil services company in Houston.

In an e-mail exchange with Jeffrey Friedel, a top lawyer for Infosys, Mr. Palmer described the work assigned to one B-1 visa holder on a project for Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search company in Chicago. “His project task consists of reviewing designs and then to physically create and write test scripts,” Mr. Palmer wrote. “This process is repeated over many weeks.”

Referring to the same employee, another manager wrote that he was “working on a B-1 visa” and cautioned his colleagues not to include the man’s name in any contracts. “We can’t put name on B-1 people for contract,” the manager wrote.

In an e-mail in December, Mr. Friedel assured Mr. Palmer that the issues he had raised “have made it clear to management that certain changes need to be made to our systems.” Mr. Friedel enumerated seven steps the company would take to prevent misuse of visitor visas.

But only this month, another Infosys manager became alarmed after discovering by chance that B-1 workers were among the team members on a project under the manager’s supervision. “There was no significant difference between the B-1 and the H-1B employees in the type of work they did,” the manager, who was granted anonymity out of fears of retaliation by the company, said in an interview.

At least one of Infosys’ major clients, Wal-Mart, has been contacted by investigators about its contracts with Infosys. Greg Rossiter, a Wal-Mart spokesman, declined to comment. There has been no suggestion of wrongdoing by any Infosys client mentioned in the visa investigations.

A State Department official in India said Infosys and other Indian companies had made use in recent years of an exception in the complex visa guidelines that allows them to send workers to the United States on B-1 visas for up to six months for certain short-term projects that might otherwise have required an H-1B visa. Since last year, the State Department has clamped down on the use of that exception and is considering whether to eliminate it, the official and several outsourcing executives in India said.

Mr. Palmer, who is known as Jay, filed his lawsuit claiming that Infosys had failed to protect him from threats from within the company he received after submitting his whistle-blower report, and had unfairly withheld more than $100,000 in bonuses he was owed. Described by his lawyer, Mr. Mendelsohn, as “on an emotional roller coaster,” Mr. Palmer has reported receiving a new death threat against himself and his family as recently as April.

While denying Mr. Palmer’s claims, Infosys has noted that Indian employees with business visitor visas are a small part — less than 2 percent — of its teams in the United States. The company reports a total of 15,500 employees in this country, including 10,100 on H-1B visas. North American clients account for 65 percent of the company’s revenue.

At least one top Indian executive overseeing United States immigration procedures has resigned from the company, Infosys said.

But Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee who closely monitors United States visa programs, said he remained skeptical of Infosys’s intentions.

“It appears the B-1 visa program has become a subterfuge for companies wanting to avoid the cap and wage requirements of the H-1B visa,” Mr. Grassley said.

- Vineet Nayar, CEO, HCL Technologies

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