Benched

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It is common for an athlete to get benched for not playing well during a game. Similarly, a company can bench employees after a contract or project ends and before another one begins. It simply means you sit on the sidelines until the coach puts you in a game or a job opportunity opens up. An article posted on MainLineMediaNews.com details the story of how an IT consultant ran a visa fraud scheme that lured foreign workers to the U.S. with the promise of a job. Unfortunately, when the workers arrived in the county they were benched because the job opportunities they were promised did not exist.

The story states that the IT consultant created a number of shell corporations and bogus contracts to show that his consulting firm needed workers to fill newly created job positions. He solicited Indian nationals to fill the non-existent positions, even though they did not have the appropriate credentials or work visas. The business-owner obtained work visas for all of the new employees by submitting applications with false information. (To their dismay, the workers arrived in the United States eager to start their new jobs and discovered that there were no jobs.)

The consultant’s scam required more than 50 foreign nationals to pay $4,000 each in exchange for their work visa. (He also made the workers pay thousands of extra dollars to keep their visas active while searching for another job.) Once the foreign nationals obtained a job elsewhere, they were then required to pay the consultant 20 percent of their earnings. (I bet that was an unwelcome surprise.)

The 46-year-old IT consultant pleaded guilty to four counts of visa fraud. He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $1 million fine for his illegal actions.

Not only did this fraudster endanger the nation by allowing unqualified foreign nationals to enter into the country, his illegal actions also crushed the dreams of foreigners seeking better opportunities in the United States. It’s a certainty that this man will be facing a lengthy amount of bench time while serving out his sentence in prison. It’s also going to be awhile before the court offers this criminal a chance to be an active participant in the game of life.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Chester County Business Owner Admits to Work Visa Fraud Scheme,” written by Carl Hessler, Jr., and posted on MainLineMediaNews.com on December 3, 2014.

PHILADELPHIA >> A Spring City-area business owner potentially faces time in a federal prison after he admitted to a scheme to illegally bring more than 50 workers to the United States on work visas as IT consultants for his company.

Sudhakar Majety, 46, the owner of Upani Consultants, which purportedly performed IT consulting services, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on Monday to four counts of visa fraud in connection with the scheme. Majety, who faces a possible maximum sentence of 40 years in a federal prison and a $1 million fine when he’s sentenced in February by U.S. District Court Judge John R. Padova, remains free on bail while awaiting sentencing.

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Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.