Global technology firm fined $34 million for visa violations

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by SEBASTIAN ROBERTSON

WFAA

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 5 at 1:29 PM

PLANO — The Department of Justice says it’s the largest immigration-related fine ever: $34 million.

That’s how much money the global technology company Infosys is paying as a part of a settlement. The firm is headquartered in India and has offices in Plano.

U.S. Attorney John Bales said the findings emerged from a Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation. He described a scheme in which Infosys let employees work in the United States under visas intended for temporary business visitors.

“That is illegal; that’s completely crossways with the immigration scheme that we have in this country, and we are intensely interested in righted that ship,” Bales said at a Wednesday news conference.

Infosys released a statement which said, in part: "Infosys denies and disputes any claims of systemic visa fraud, misuse of visas for competitive advantage or immigration abuse."

The company said it has agreed to pay the $34 million to resolve all allegations.

E-mail srobertson@wfaa.com


Here is the full text of the statement released Wednesday by Infosys:

Today, Infosys announced that it has completed a civil settlement that concludes the investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas and resolves all issues with the U.S. Department of State, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security relating to I-9 paperwork errors and visa matters that were the subject of the investigation. There were no criminal charges or court rulings against the Company. Furthermore, there are no limitations on the Company’s eligibility for federal contracts or access to U.S. visa programs as a result of the settlement.

In the settlement, Infosys agreed to pay $34 million to resolve all allegations, for which the company had already taken a reserve of $35 million which included attorney’s fees. The settlement is focused on historical I-9 paperwork errors from 2010-2011 that Infosys began correcting before the investigation began. There is no evidence that the I-9 paperwork violations allowed any Infosys employee to work beyond their visa authorization.

As reflected in the settlement, Infosys denies and disputes any claims of systemic visa fraud, misuse of visas for competitive advantage, or immigration abuse. Those claims are untrue and are assertions that remain unproven. The Company's use of B-1 visas was for legitimate business purposes and not in any way intended to circumvent the requirements of the H-1B program. Only .02% of the days that Infosys employees worked on U.S. projects in 2012 were performed by B-1 visa holders.

Our Company policy demands adherence to all laws, rules and regulations everywhere we operate, and we take our compliance obligations seriously. In the settlement agreement, the U.S. Government acknowledged that Infosys demonstrates a commitment to compliance with the immigration laws through its current visa and I-9 practices.


 

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