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.
Aiyaswamy told US immigration officials that the workers were in line for positions such as "network engineer," "systems analyst" and "programmer analyst," and the forms she submitted on their behalf included forged signatures from supposed managers at Cisco.
The workers instead arrived in the US to work at Strataserv, Aiyaswamy's IT consulting and contracting outfit in San Jose, California. This, prosecutors argue, provided Aiyaswamy a steady supply of low-cost and highly skilled tech workers.
Placing an H-1B worker in a job other than the one specified on an I-129 application is illegal. Cisco is not implicated in the case or in any of the charges.
According to documents filed with the northern California district courts on Wednesday, Aiyaswamy accepted a plea deal with prosecutors in she admitted three of 34 possible charges of visa fraud. She will be sentenced in November; each count she admitted carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This is not the first time an IT consulting firm in Silicon Valley was charged with allegedly lying to immigration officials. In March of this year, the CEO of staffing company Dynasoft Synergy was charged with more than two dozen counts of visa fraud for similarly making up job offers in order to bring workers over on the sought-after H-1B status. ®