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    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    2 Indians indicted in New Jersey for smuggling foreign nationals into US

    2 Indians indicted in New Jersey for smuggling foreign nationals into US

    March 17, 2016

    Nileshkumar Patel, Harsad Mehta operated through Newark airport.
    AB Wire

    Two Indians, Nileshkumar Patel, 41, and Harsad Mehta, 66, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Newark, New Jersey, on Thursday, for allegedly smuggling foreign nationals into the United States via commercial airline flights.

    Patel and Mehta are each charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to bring in and harbor aliens and one count of money laundering conspiracy. In addition, Patel is charged with six counts and Mehta is charged with four counts of smuggling foreign nationals into the United States for private financial gain. Patel and Mehta were arrested on Oct. 21, 2015 upon their arrival at Newark Liberty International and both remain detained pending the outcome of the charges.

    According to the indictment, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) received information that a smuggling operation run by Patel and Mehta was attempting to find methods to illegally smuggle foreign nationals from India into the United States. The investigation revealed that the smuggling operation recruited Indian nationals and others to pay fees in exchange for passage to the United States, the Justice Department said.

    Beginning in April 2014, an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a smuggler began meeting with Patel and Mehta in Bangkok, Thailand. Patel and Mehta stated that they were involved in the smuggling business and had multiple Indian nationals that they were intending to smuggle into the United States.

    Mehta and Patel agreed to transport the Indian nationals from India to Thailand, at which point the undercover law enforcement officer would presumably use his contacts to smuggle the Indian nationals into the United States via commercial airline flights.

    Patel and Mehta agreed to wire a $10,000 down payment for each individual to be smuggled into the United States and to pay a balance of tens of thousands of dollars for each individual once the foreign nationals arrived in the United States.

    In total, Patel and Mehta arranged for six Indian nationals to be brought to Thailand for smuggling into the United States via Newark Liberty International Airport on three occasions.

    The conspiracy to bring in and harbor aliens charge carries a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison. The money laundering conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. Each substantive charge of alien smuggling carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a mandatory minimum of three years in prison.

    http://www.americanbazaaronline.com/...-nationals-us/

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    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Two Indian Americans in New Jersey charged with conspiracy in H-1B visa scam

    May 15, 2015

    Hiral Patel, Shikha Mohta worked for SCM Data Inc. and MMC Systems Inc.

    AB Wire

    NEW YORK: Hiral Patel, 32, and Shikha Mohta, 31, both of Jersey City, New Jersey, and employees of SCM Data Inc. and MMC Systems Inc. were arrested on Wednesday for their alleged roles in a scheme that fraudulently used the H1-B visa program to reduce skilled labor costs, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

    The duo were each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to bring in and harbor aliens and to obstruct justice.

    According to the complaint, by the Justice Department, SCM Data and MMC Systems offered consultants to clients in need of IT support. Both companies recruited foreign nationals, often student visa holders or recent college graduates, and sponsored them for H-1B visas.

    The H1-B program allows businesses in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers with specialized or technical expertise in a particular field, such as accounting, engineering or computer science. As part of the H-1B program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) require employers to meet specific labor conditions to ensure that American workers are not adversely impacted, while the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division safeguards the treatment and compensation of H-1B workers. Congress sets a numerical cap for the admission of skilled workers into the United States.

    Patel, Mohta and other conspirators recruited foreign workers with purported IT expertise who sought work in the United States. The conspirators then sponsored the foreign workers’ H1-B visas with the stated purpose of working for SCM Data and MMC Systems’ clients throughout the United States. When submitting the visa paperwork to the DHS, the conspirators falsely represented that the foreign workers had full-time positions and were paid an annual salary, as required to secure the H-1B visas. Contrary to these representations and in violation of the H-1B program, Patel, Mohta and others paid the foreign workers only when they were placed at a third-party client who entered into a contract with SCM Data or MMC Systems.

    In some instances, Patel, Mohta and others generated false payroll records to create the appearance that the foreign workers were paid full-time wages. On multiple occasions the conspirators required workers to pay SCM Data or MMC Systems their gross wages in cash. In exchange, SCM Data or MMC Systems would subtract taxes and fees and issue payroll checks to the foreign workers in a smaller amount. The conspirators then encouraged the foreign workers to submit the bogus payroll checks to the DHS as proof that the workers were engaged in full-time work despite the fact that they were not working for SCM Data and MMC Systems.

    This scheme provided Patel, Mohta and others with a labor pool of inexpensive, skilled foreign workers who could be used on an “as needed” basis. The scheme was profitable because it required minimal overhead, and SCM Data and MMC Systems could charge significant hourly rates for the foreign workers’ services. The conspirators earned a substantial profit margin when a foreign worker was assigned to a project and incurred few costs when a foreign worker was without billable work.

    The conspiracy charge with which Patel and Mohta are charged carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    http://www.americanbazaaronline.com/...-1b-visa-scam/


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