DALLAS (Diya TV) — Atul Nanda, 46, and Jiten ‘Jay’ Nanda, 45, both of Texas, have been sentenced to serve more than seven years in prison for their parts in an H-1B visa fraud.
The Nanda brothers received an 87-month prison sentence, which was handed down by Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara MG Lynn. They were each convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, one count of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens and four counts of wire fraud last year and have since been free on bond.
“The H-1B visa program is a powerful and positive tool for businesses and foreign workers alike when properly used. When employers abuse the program, the foreign workers become a captive stable of cheap labor, victimized to the company’s financial benefit,” said U.S. Attorney John Parker, in a statement.
The brothers fraud extended from March of 2005 until February 2011, according to the Justice Department. Atul and Jiten were seeking to secure a low-cost workforce at the information technology consulting company, Dibon Solutions, which the two founded. The company was headquartered in Carrollton, Texas.
Through the H-1B program, companies such as Dibon can temporarily employ foreign workers with specialized or technical expertise in specific fields.
At trial, the government presented evidence which alleged the Nanda brothers recruited foreign workers with technical expertise who wanted to work in the U.S., sponsored said workers, but never actually provided positions within the company. They instead paid the employees for their time spent consulting at third-party companies, and only if the outside company first paid Dibon for the workers’ time beforehand. The Nanda brothers also advertised the positions as full-time, when, in fact, the jobs were all part-time, the government said at trial.
Further, the brothers required their workers to pay for all H-1B application and processing fees themselves, a blatant violation of the program, the government said at trial. The Nandas attempted to hide this by having H-1B candidates pay the fees directly to the company with cash or a check written out to the “Dibon Training Center.”