back to article Silicon Valley IT biz boss cops to lying about Cisco H-1B jobs

The owner of a Silicon Valley tech consulting biz has pled guilty to making up job offers in order to obtain US H-1B visas for overseas workers. Sridevi Aiyaswamy, 50, lied on more than 25 I-129 forms used to apply for the visas, claiming workers had standing job offers from Cisco when in reality no such jobs existed. …

  1. tommy_qwerty

    It's so encouraging to see they are cracking down on this.

    As for them being highly skilled and low-cost, only part of that is true. They certainly come cheap. My current and previous jobs have been mostly cleaning up the messes they make. The compiler always throws a over a thousand warnings , there's hardcoding galore, disregard for design patterns, variable names like "data1, data2, data3", and security issues among other things. I wrote better code in high school. People put their credit card or medical information in these apps.

    1. eriksolo

      I've cleaned up after them on the Systems Administration level as well.

      Lately the problem has been non-viable backups discovered after a ransomware attack.

      And upatched servers leading to a ransomware attack. And sub-sub-sub contracting the administration work so no one even knew who was the system administrator.

  2. anothercynic Silver badge

    And this...

    ... Is why people like Trump got their pants in a knot. This is why the system is a shambles, and being allowed a plea deal just sends a signal that "oh, it's ok, just cop a guilty and you'll be ok eventually".

    Glad to see someone's cracking down.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And this...

      Granted the H1B is badly abused by Silicon Valley and needs to be fixed but that said an H1B is still better than offshoring because at least they have to pay taxes locally and support the local economy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        H1B "supports the local economy"

        It's more complex than that. When you create a job that requires someone to relocate to an area, that places demands on local housing, infrastructure, and services for the employee and their dependents. In areas where these demands are at or near capacity then they are expensive, or even impossible to meet and the overall cost may exceed the value created by the worker. When the capacity of local housing, transport, schools. hospitals, water / energy supply etc. are reached everyone suffers higher costs and falling quality of life. Of course, current capacity is not absolute capacity, you can build new infrastructure until you run out of land, but eventually an area is full-up and it makes sense to build a new town / city elsewhere.

        However if you employ / educate local people to do the work, that doesn't place increased demands on local services (except possibly transport). So if there is unemployment or underemployment among a section of the local population, it could be more economical overall to re-educate them to have the required skills (or cascade upskill local workers) than to import new skilled workers. If you don't do this, and you don't create new infrastructure for new workers, then the local population will be economically squeezed by rising costs and eventually forced to leave the area.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: H1B "supports the local economy"

          If you "import" a worker from N Dakota to SF it has exactly the same effect on local inrastructure as one from India

          1. Peter2 Silver badge

            Re: H1B "supports the local economy"

            "If you "import" a worker from N Dakota to SF it has exactly the same effect on local inrastructure as one from India"

            Yes and no.

            Yes, the specifics about the housing costs remain a constant, however if you "import" a worker from a different part of the same country then the person who loses their job in favour of the newcomer could relocate to take up the job that is vacated by the incoming worker.

            If the worker is "imported" from India then that's not going to happen, and at non trivial scale then this is going to increase supply while leaving demand constant (or falling, with offshoring) leading to reduced prices. And the prices in this case are our wages.

            1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

              Re: H1B "supports the local economy"

              "however if you "import" a worker from a different part of the same country then the person who loses their job in favour of the newcomer could relocate to take up the job that is vacated by the incoming worker."

              And so move from San Jose to Fargo or Bismarck? I don't think that happens much.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: H1B "supports the local economy"

                I always thought it was odd that eg a Boeing worker in Seattle would object to a foreigner coming to work there but is quite happy that their tax dollars are used by some poor southern state to offer Boeing huge subsidies to move production to Toad Suck Arkansas

      2. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: And this...

        Well... yes and no. But generally I agree with you. The H-1B employee *must* be paid equivalent salary for this to be true. Importing cheap labour does not make it any better.

  3. eriksolo

    I think this is the business model of those companies.

    I am amazed there has been so few cases like these. Those of us techs in the US who have been looking for work since Indian based companies with a "US Based" PO box got into the recruiting know the problem is prevalent and and even more shady than this case.

    Actions like this are why tech workers who hated Trump often voted for him anyway and just told their friends they voted for Clinton.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You ain't seen nothing yet.

      I've worked inside of both Microsoft and the colleges that specialize in teaching Microsoft products. Lying is indeed the business model, and we're only at the tip of the iceberg with these investigations.

      Prosecutors are focused on the small time offenders for the moment, as they've been paid to look the other way when it comes to the big companies. Lots of ex Silicon Valley execs hold positions as congresscritters (including Greg "Fuck your glasses" Gianforte), thus the problem keeps getting swept under the rug. Silicon Valley has absolute control over immigration now, which is why Trump's travel bans keep getting ignored or overturned.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: You ain't seen nothing yet.

        H-1B fraud has been rampant for years. The only way it has occurred for so long is because no one wanted to look for the fraud. If no one wants to look they will never find it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You ain't seen nothing yet.

          I still maintain that the only way to prevent this is to double the minimum H-1B salary to $130K and make the positions all Non-Exempt to prevent them from screwing the Visa employees with unpaid overtime.

          That way, the people they bring over will be adding unique skills/value and not just undercutting local employees.

          1. GrumpyOldBloke

            Re: You ain't seen nothing yet.

            Good suggestion but then you get cash-back (worker pays part of salary back to employer), service charge, foreign debt or company store type scams.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You ain't seen nothing yet.

              True but I'm willing to bet you get those abuses already under the current rules, in addition to the low pay and free overtime.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You ain't seen nothing yet.

            Absolutely! These visas are supposed to help fill skills gaps. If that's what they're for then the pay and benefits should be better than the position would normally cover for the particular job being filled. Otherwise, they're just bringing in low paid workers to what citizens would demand more for.

            It's the same for outsourcing any work. Wherever the jobs go, the pay and benefits should be as high or higher than they would have been in the country for which the jobs were outsourced or these companies are chasing the lowest cost at huge cost to a country's taxpayers.

            I do hope that voters/taxpayers wake up about this before the developed countries have only the wealthy class and the working class like in much of the rest of the world.

            No developed should be buying any goods or services from any country where the pay and benefits are significantly lower than similar would cost in the developed country.

            Face it folks. We've damn near reached mature markets everywhere and Corporations are doing this squeeze whatever they can from the middle class and as our Governments are largely Corporate owned they let them. Please, notice how our taxes rise while Corporate taxes lower.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You ain't seen nothing yet.

              "I do hope that voters/taxpayers wake up about this before the developed countries have only the wealthy class and the working class like in much of the rest of the world."

              I suggest you take a more thorough look around at the modern world, the future you dread has been here for a while..

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I think this is the business model of those companies.

      "Actions like this are why tech workers who hated Trump often voted for him anyway and just told their friends they voted for Clinton."

      Hasn't El Reg reporting these investigations and prosecutions over the years? A cursory glance over the results of an El Reg search for H1-B shows stories of prosecutions dating back to at least 2008. Trump may well have shouted louder and caused increased action, but he didn't instigate it.

      1. Aitor 1

        Re: I think this is the business model of those companies.

        disney did it and nothing happened...

      2. GuildenNL

        Re: I think this is the business model of those companies.

        And Trump had yet to take one action against H1B or OPT.

        He even refuses to overturn Obama's illegal EO expanding OPT, or EAD.

        https://cis.org/North/Trump-Can-Create-180000-New-Jobs-Americans-Using-Pen

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: I think this is the business model of those companies.

          I wonder how many underpaid immigrants work in the Trump "empire"....

    3. JoeF

      Re: I think this is the business model of those companies.

      Hmm, but that is just a lazy excuse.

      I got laid off recently, and had a new job in 3 months, despite being >50. I did move, though. Same salary, but more take-home, due to not having state income tax.

      1. GuildenNL

        Re: I think this is the business model of those companies.

        Ah yes. The 1 in a million guy.

        "Everybody else is full of it" in his mind.

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