While the recent H-1B and green card fraud bust has been applauded for focusing attention on abusive and exploitative H-1B employers and “bodyshops,” short shrift has been given to the fact that several H-1B employees were also indicted for their alleged participation in the scheme.
Of the 11 people arrested last week, eight were employees. The employees were indicted as co-conspirators based on their alleged role in obtaining H-1B visas and seeking permanent residency by fraud, according to redacted indictments filed in U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Iowa.
The H-1B employees are accused of the following legal violations:
- Conspiring with their employers to obtain by fraud H-1B visas and permanent residency by falsely claiming they lived and worked in Iowa when in fact they were living and working in other states. 18 USC 371
- Mail fraud for stating on tax and/or immigration documents they lived and worked in Iowa when they actually did not. 18 USC 1341, 18 USC 1342
These employees may not have originally devised the alleged scheme -in fact, they may well have been talked into it by their employers against their better judgment-but the pressure the employees may have felt does not excuse violations of the laws.
Are you worried about finding yourself in this same situation? In this article we discuss the charges and the laws at issue to help explain why these employees were arrested and what steps you can take to protect yourself and your status.