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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Indian IT company indicted for abuse of US H1-B visa

The Indian owners of an IT services company based in Texas have been charged with multiple visa fraud after allegedly abusing work permits to create a 'low-cost' workforce in the US.

Carrollton-based Dibon Solutions and its owners as well as senior management figures have been charged with paying H-1B visa holding employees only when there was work.

The H-1B visa category - currently capped at 65,000 visas a year - allows US companies to recruit specialist staff from overseas and is much sought after, particularly by IT graduates in the sub-continent.

According to the federal indictment against Dibon, the company hired foreign workers on H-1B visas and instead of paying them, used them to work for a third company and paid them a salary only when they agreed to work for the third company.

The company “sponsored the workers on H-1B visas with the stated purpose of working at Dibon headquarters in Carrollton, Texas, but, in fact, required the workers to provide consulting services to third-party companies located elsewhere,” the indictment alleges.

“Contrary to the representations made by the conspirators to the workers (and the government), the conspirators paid the workers only when the conspirators placed the workers at a third-party company and only if the third- party company actually paid Dibon first for the workers’ services,” it said.

Additionally, in Dibon’s visa paperwork, it falsely represented that the foreign workers had full-time positions and were paid an annual salary, as required by regulation to secure the visas, the indictment alleges.

This scheme provided the company with skilled foreign workers who could be used on an “as needed” basis, which proved far more profitable as it required minimal overhead and Dibon could charge significant hourly rates for a computer consultant’s services.

- With input from Press Trust of India

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