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Indian-Origin Immigration Manager Hari Karne found Guilty in H1-B Visa Fraud Case in US

To comply with H-1B requirements, they showed them as full-time salaried employees of their companies, according to prosecutors

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New York, Dec 17, 2016: An Indian-origin immigration manager of an outsourcing company has been found guilty in an H-1B visa fraud case, Paul Fishman, the New Jersey federal prosecutor, said on Friday.

Hari Karne, 32, admitted before Federal Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark, New Jersey, on Friday that he conspired to obstruct the investigation into a scheme to get fraudulent visas for foreign workers and falsify salary information.

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Even though President-elect Donald Trump has not yet assumed office, the case came up a week after he announced that one of his priorities would be to have the Labour Department crackdown on H-1B visa fraud.

The others in the alleged conspiracy were shown in court documents seen by IANS as SCM Data based in New Jersey and MMC System headquartered in Virginia, and six individuals, but they are not listed as defendants in Karne’s case.

The prosecution said that Karne, who is from Hyderabad, worked as an immigration manager with SCM Private Limited in India, which had service agreements with SCM Data and MMC System that in turn provide information technology consultants to US companies.

The conspirators recruited students and recent graduates and sponsored them for H-1B visas meant for people with specialised qualification, prosecutors said.

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To comply with H-1B requirements, they showed them as full-time salaried employees of their companies, according to prosecutors.

However, they were not paid by the outsourcing companies and collected salaries only from the companies they were sent to work in.

One employee, identified only as “Individual 1” in court papers, was not paid for some time around January last year. Since the outsourcing companies had to show that it paid H-1B visa-holders full-time, Karne asked “Individual 1” to pay cash to the outsourcers from the person’s earnings from the company to which the person was outsourced, prosecutors said.

The outsourcers then made out a check using what “Individual 1” had paid in cash back to the person to cover the period they had not paid in order to make it appear the person was a regular, salaried employee, prosecutors said.

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Karne also admitted that in February and March last year he helped SCM Data and MMC Systems prepare false leave slips for foreign workers during a Department of Labour audit to conceal the fact that they were not paid during those months, prosecutors said.

He could face a maximum sentence of five years in jail, but often the actual penalties are less. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Pichai met with senior Republicans on Friday to discuss their concerns, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?