By: Bruce E. Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC



Mu Sigma, an advanced analytics service provider headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, with its main delivery center in Bangalore, India, has agreed to a $2.5 million global settlement for visa fraud and inducing aliens to enter and remain in the U.S. Mu Sigma was illegally circumventing H-1B visa regulations by actively employing B-1 visitor visa holders under contract within the U.S. In addition, the company’s invitation letters for the B1 visa holders misrepresented the nature of the B-1 visitors’ intended business.

Mu Sigma B-1 visa holders, who were illegally working in the United States, were also paid in India at India-based wages, which are substantially lower than their U.S. counterparts. This unlawful employment tactic greatly increased Mu Sigma’s profit margins and the company’s ability to provide low bids for end-user contracts.

Mu Sigma also required its employees to sign bond contracts that unlawfully sought reimbursement of up to $10,000 of the H-1B visa costs if an employee ceased employment before an agreed upon date. Additionally, to circumvent U.S. laws that might delay or prevent their entry into the U.S., Mu Sigma instructed its H-1B employees to misrepresent to U.S. consular and border officials their intended destination of employment within the U.S.

This investigation identified about 400 potential B-1 visa violators, and more than 300 instances of illegal visa bond contracts, during the defined five-year statute of limitations. Investigating special agents identified nine Mu Sigma executives and managers who actively participated in these schemes.

Of the $2.5 million settlement, $1.6 million will satisfy the civil allegations, and $900,000 will satisfy the criminal allegations. In addition to the monetary settlement, the non-prosecution agreement includes a compliance and monitoring program.

If you want to know more information on immigration compliance and related issues, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.