Houston firm admits to H-1B visa fraud to bring Indians to US

Faces million dollar fine, five year probation at sentencing on Sept. 16.

Cloudgen LLC, a Houston, Texas consulting and strategic solutions company, has pleaded guilty to committing fraud to bring Indians to the US on H1-B visas for high skilled professionals.

Cloudgen pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit visa fraud from on or about March 2013 to December 2020 on May 28, acting US Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery announced in a press release.

During the plea, the company admitted to recruiting multiple Information Technology workers from India and falsely procuring H-1B visas for them to enter and work in the United States.

Cloudgen took a percentage of the worker’s salary as its fees, earning approximately $493,516.28 in profits during the course of the conspiracy, the release said.

READ: Three Indian Americans arrested for H-1B visa fraud in California, Texas (April 3, 2019)

Chief US District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal will impose sentencing Sept. 16.

At that time, the company may have to pay up to $500,000 or the greater of twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss as well as a maximum five years of probation, the release said.

Using a “bench and switch” scheme, Cloudgen would file documents with the Departments of Labor (DOL) and Homeland Security (DHS) containing fraudulent statements about the availability of work at third-party national employers.

Cloudgen would then submit forged contracts stating each third-party company had a job for the individual Indian national, it said.

Next, based on those false documents, Cloudgen would submit paperwork to get an H-1B worker’s visa for the Indian nationals. When granted, they would use that visa to allow the Indian nationals to enter the United States.

READ: Indian American family faces deportation for $20 million H-1B visa fraud scheme (December 29, 2017)

However, because the jobs were fake, they were housed in different locations across the country while Cloudgen obtained other employment for them.

Such action gave Cloudgen a competitive advantage by having a steady “bench” or supply of visa-ready workers to send to different employers based on market needs when the true process actually takes some time.

Once workers had obtained new employment, the “switch” would occur when the new third-party company filed immigration paperwork for the foreign workers.

Cloudgen would also extend their visas, based on the original false ones, to allow them to stay and continue working in the United States, it said.

The prosecutor’s office said that Cloudgen was based in Houston, but on its website, the company lists an address in Manassas in Virginia. It also shows offices in Hyderabad, Canada and Romania.

READ MORE:

H-1B Visa fraud: Indian American Sunitha Guntipally gets four years (December 6, 2017)

Indian American couple charged with H-1B fraud and money laundering in Rochester (December 1, 2017)

USCIS prepares to double on-site visits to detect H-1B visa and L-1 visa frauds (November 30, 2017)

Indian American entrepreneur Rohit Saksena sentenced for H-1B visa fraud (August 10, 2017)

 Indian American businesswoman found guilty of H-1B visa fraud (July 22, 2017)

Grassley, Durbin demand more teeth for Labor Department to investigate H-1B visa frauds and abuses (May 8, 2017)

H-1B season begins with Trump administration warnings against visa fraud, abuses (April 3, 2017)

Dynasoft Synergy CEO Jayavel Murugan and another Indian American charged with H-1B visa fraud (March 29, 2017)

Ro Khanna introduces bipartisan bill to reduce H-1B, L1 ‘fraud and abuse’ (March 3, 2017)

Indian American convicted for H-1B visa fraud (February 15, 2017)

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