By: Bruce E. Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

Four executives of two information technology staffing companies, have been arrested and each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit H-1B visa fraud to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors.

According to the complaints and other documentation, Vijay Mane, Venkataramana Mannam, and Sateesh Vemuri controlled two IT staffing companies, Procure Professionals Inc. and Krypto IT Solutions Inc., located in Middlesex County, New Jersey. Fernando Silva and Mannam also controlled another New Jersey staffing company, referred to in the complaint as “Client A.” The defendants used Procure and Krypto to recruit foreign nationals and sponsor them for H-1B visas. To expedite their visa applications, the defendants caused Procure and Krypto to file H-1B applications falsely asserting the foreign workers had already secured positions at Client A, when, in reality, no such positions existed. Instead, the defendants used these fraudulent applications to build a “bench” of job candidates already admitted to the United States, who could then be hired out immediately to client companies without the need to wait through the visa application process. This gave the defendants a significant advantage over their competitors in the IT staffing industry.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. I will keep you updated on developments in this case.

As one reads in this blog, there is a lot of fraud committed by companies in the H-1B visa program. If you are concerned about your immigration compliance, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, 2d. ed., a book that I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and at