U.S. Expands H-1B Fraud Case Against N.J. Firm

07. September 2009
The U.S. government late last month filed a new, expanded 18-count indictment that now seeks $4.9 million from a New Jersey IT services firm it has accused of fraudulently using H-1B visas.

The government alleges that South Plainfield, N.J.-based Vision Systems Group Inc. paid its H-1B workers in multiple states based on low prevailing wage rates in Iowa through the creation of shell businesses in that state.

The indictment charges that the methods used by Vision Systems "have substantially deprived U.S. citizens of employment."

The initial 10-count indictment against Vision Systems , filed on Feb. 12, was part of a government investigation dubbed Operation Pacific Vision that led to the arrest of 11 people in six states on H-1B fraud charges.

Court documents show that the expanded indictment cut the amount sought by $2.5 million; no explanation for the reduction was given. But it is still the largest H-1B fraud case ever brought by the government.

The figure "represents he total amount of gross proceeds obtained as a result of offenses," according to the indictment.