H1-B Visa Fraud: Cloudgen brings Indians on H1-B visas to the US, taking advantage of visa rules

Cloudgen, a tech company, has admitted committing fraud to bring Indians on the H1-B visas to America. Jomon Chakkalakkal, the corporate representative of Cloudgen, had admitted before a federal court in Houston, Texas, on May 28, on behalf of the company, informed acting federal Prosecutor Jennifer B. Lowery.

The office of the Prosecutor described the fraud as a ‘bench and switch’ ruse. It said that under the fraud, to obtain the H1-B visas, Cloudgen presented ‘forged contracts’ showing that third companies had worked for the persons it wanted to bring over.

However, once the employees arrived in the US, there was no job for them, and they were housed in different cities in the US, while the company would try to find work for them.

The Prosecutor’s office stated, “The fraud made by the company gave it a competitive advantage by having a steady ‘bench’ or supply of visa-ready workers to send to different companies based on market needs when the true process is delayed. Once people on H1-B visa had obtained new employment, the ‘switch’ would occur when the new third-party company filed immigration paperwork for the foreign workers.”

Cloudgen, in return, would take a percentage of the worker’s wages, which amounted to over 5 lakh USD from 2013 to 2020 when the fraud happened.

Chief Judge Lee Rosenthal of the Southern Texas federal court will announce the punishment for the H1-B visa fraud in September, and that could be a fine of 1 million USD and probation for five years.

As per the Prosecutor, Cloudgen was based in Houston, but the company’s official address was listed as Manassas in Virginia on its website and offices in Hyderabad, Canada, and Romania. In addition, Chakkalakkal is designated as Senior VP for Sales on the website of the company.

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