Wonderful, Thrilling News – Prison Term for H1B Visa Fraudster Nilesh Dasondi of Edison, NJ

Dedicated to SI Blog Reader Naveen 😉

OMG, OMG, we’re so thrilled.

Just can’t contain our excitement, folks.

Uncork the champagne, sound the bugle, break the coconut. Get Poonam Pandey to do her all-natural act.

Time for celebration!

Yahooo! Yippeeee! 😛 😛

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that Nilesh Dasondi, owner of Sterling System LLC (formerly Cygate Software & Consulting) and a former member of the Edison Township Zoning Board, has been sentenced to six months in prison for money laundering in connection with the trafficking in immigration documents used to procure H-1B Visas and Green Cards for ineligible or unqualified Indian nationals.

The DOJ said Dasondi, 44, of Edison, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini to an Information charging him with money laundering. Judge Martini also imposed the sentence in Newark federal court.

Besides the six-month prison term, Dasondi has also been sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. Dasondi has agreed to forfeit an additional $296,921.82.

We’re so thrilled that we’re going to drink ourselves silly today.

Our only regret is that Nilesh Dasondi did not get a longer prison term. 🙁

Folks, we’ve made no secret of our opposition to the H1B/L1 Visas.

These Visas have caused untold misery to hardworking Americans by depriving them of their jobs.

There’s also been a great deal of fraud involved in these Visas by way of faking experience certificates, faking degree certificates and the like.

When the U.S. unemployment rate is around 9%, to bring in employees from India or elsewhere  is criminally sinful and triggers immense pain to Americans.

Further, most of the H1B Visas holders do not possess extraordinarily unique skills.

More often than not, garden variety skills and experience are their stock in trade.

The only reason H1B Visas find favor with corporations is because they enjoy greater leverage with H1B/L1 Visa employees compared to Americans.

There are many instances of H1B Visa holders not being paid prevailing wages, forced to sit on the ‘bench’ without wages in between contracts, and sometimes not paid any wages at all. Inevitably, this forces them to take up illegal jobs like working at gas stations, Indian grocery stores and restaurants.

It’s in part for all these reasons that we sometimes refer to H1B/L1 Visas as Coolie Visas.

Folks, Nilesh Dasondi is just the proverbial tip of ‘the H1B fraud’ iceberg.

Let’s all give the attorneys at the Justice Department and the agents of the Citizenship and Immigration Services a big hand.

Here are more details from the Justice Department announcement on Nilesh Dasondi:

In June 2008, Dasondi was one of seven individuals charged in a criminal Complaint with conspiracy to defraud the United States. As owner of the Edison-based Cygate, an information technology company, Dasondi petitioned federal agencies for both H-1B Visas and Green Cards on behalf of individuals including his six co-defendants – all Indian nationals – claiming that these individuals possessed specialized information technology skills and that they would work for Cygate once in the United States.

H-1B Visas are issued by the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and permit qualified alien workers entry into the United States to work in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation, such as information technology consulting, requires alien workers to meet certain educational and professional requirements established by USCIS and an employer’s petition on their behalf. The number of petitions filed with USCIS each year far exceed the limited number of H-1B Visas available, so they are valuable to alien workers and a source of illicit profit to corrupt employers. Securing an H-1B Visa often represents the first step in obtaining permanent lawful residency via a Green Card and, ultimately, U.S. citizenship.

Despite Dasondi’s representations in petitions to federal agencies, none of his six co-defendants performed any work for Cygate and instead were instructed by Dasondi to secure cash-paying jobs in the locations of their choice. Dasondi then engaged in a process known as “running the payroll,” whereby the visa recipients were put on Cygate’s payroll so that they appeared as legitimate employees, and then made to remit monthly payments to Cygate. Those payments were used in part to pay the visa recipients back, as falsified proof of compliance with the terms of their visa requirements and in order to apply for Green Cards. Other portions of the payments were used to pay Cygate payroll taxes owed the government, to perpetuate the trafficking in immigration documents, or pocketed as profit by Dasondi.

Dasondi admitted that he had accepted lump sum payments from his co-defendants for procuring H-1B Visas and, in some cases, Green Cards, and that he had engaged in “running the payroll” with the same individuals in order to create a falsified record of employment, as well as for personal profit. Dasondi also admitted that he used the proceeds of these and other illegal payments from his co-defendants to conduct financial transactions – including paying Cygate-related expenses.

Judge Martini previously accepted guilty pleas from Dasondi’s six co-defendants: Ajit Vyas, 40, of Hoffman Estates, Ill.; Kishor Parikh, 42, of Ronkonkoma, N.Y.; Vimal Patel, 36, of Maricopa, Az., Chetan Trivedi, 40, of Ronkonkoma; Hetal Shah, 38, of Ringwood, N.J. and Devang Patel, 31, of Ronkonkoma. Each admitted to engaging in a conspiracy to defraud the government by paying Dasondi to have Cygate sponsor them for H-1B Visas and, in some cases, Green Cards, based on falsified qualifications. They also admitted that they had “run the payroll” with Dasondi in order to acquire false records such as pay stubs indicating that they were performing work for Cygate when, in fact, they were not. All were sentenced to terms of probation and face collateral immigration consequences.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Martini sentenced Dasondi to two years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a $50,000 fine. Dasondi also agreed to forfeit an additional $296,921.82.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Peter T. Edge; and the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, New York Regional Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Panella, with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra L. Moser of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.

3 Responses to "Wonderful, Thrilling News – Prison Term for H1B Visa Fraudster Nilesh Dasondi of Edison, NJ"

  1. Naveen   April 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Surprised to see the dedication made to me!!! I don’t support fraud! 🙁

    But this is truly wonderful news. Dasondi and other such people should be subjected to harsher punishments. 6 months $50k is nothing.

    All candidates who bribed their way to Dasondi should be permanently blacklisted and deported. There should be more closer scrutiny of visas and firms that use H1B/L1 programs.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: 6 months $50k is nothing.

    If you read the post carefully, you’d realize there’s more punishment.

    Close to $300,000 in forfeiture plus 2 years of supervised release.

    Of course, it’d be nice to see him get a stiffer punishment.

  2. kd36939   April 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Fraudsters like him should be severely punished and deported back to his country banning him for ever. Before the heat goes off, the immigration service should track down other illegal consultancies who are putting genuine people at risk.

    While a coolie myself, I cannot say I am against H1-B / L1 system. The system is surely misused and exploited. No doubt. My eyes bleed blood when I see fresh out of college grads ‘fake’ their skill set to abnormal proportions that they even go to the extent of changing their date of birth and last name. All these backed by the consultancies who thinks that it is just ok to do it.

    Coolie’s are just handful in the location I am in. But I know there must be thousands and thousands around your place. How do an average American react to it? Have you ever interacted with one (American) who knows all these frauds and bearing the brunt?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. We have seen Indian youths (surely, some of them are on H1B) pumping gas in NJ and have heard depressing anecdotal stories of exploitation.

    2. We don’t live in NJ, which is a major hub of Indian consulting activities on the East Coast, but in an adjoining state.

    Yes, we know of some American IT people who were out of a job for quite some time. They found it pretty hard financially. Luckily, they had some well-heeled relatives who we suspect helped them. Ultimately, they retrained and moved to VA to work in the defense companies in the belief that their jobs would be relatively safe working for military contractors. It’s hard to outsource military work to India and you need to be a citizen and have security clearances to work in most of these Defense firms.

  3. disgusted   July 9, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I know of employers who are falsifying H1-B and Green Card applications to get their friends and family into this country. To whom should I report this to? It is very frustrating that this fraud and abuse is happening and the government is too stupid or lazy to investigate the matter. Also, if a person or employee knows of this fraud happening at their employer and they do not report it, what implication is involved? Thank you

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Immigration violations are not likely to be addressed any time soon. After all, the official unemployment rate is only 8.2% in the U.S. Let’s wait till the unemployment figures touch 82%.

    But there’s no harm done in sending a note with strong supporting documents on the violations in your office to ICE along with a copy to your employer. All anonymously, of course. If nothing else, it’ll at least send your employer’s blood pressure shooting up and get him crapping in his chaddi. 😉

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