A local whistle-blower is responsible for helping the Department of Justice broker the largest immigration fraud settlement in U.S. history.
Lowndesboro resident Jay Palmer filed a suit against technology giant Infosys, which is based in India, in 2011 alleging immigration abuse and systemic visa fraud. Palmer was allegedly retaliated against for reporting the issues internally.
The Department of Justice investigated the claims and settled with Infosys for $34 million.
Palmer's attorney, Kenny Meldelsohn, says Palmer witnessed the company thwarting the system by obtaining illegal visas to increase profits and even used certain processes to decrease the costs of the illegally obtained visas.
According to court documents, Infosys routinely brought in workers from India who, according to the visa, provided a skill set that couldn't be obtained in the U.S. However, those workers were trained in the U.S. to do simple computer programing tasks for a nominal free.
DOJ also claims Infosys filed for visas that were only meant to bring in workers for meetings, but used them for labor even passing along a memorandum of conduct not to tip off homeland security.
Mendelsohn suspects tens of thousands of Indian workers have been brought to the U.S. with these visas over the last few years.
Infosys, which employees about 30,000 workers in the U.S., released a statement denying the claims. The company said the settlement "removes the uncertainty of prolonged litigation."
The State Department and Homeland Security will split $10 million of the settlement. The remaining $24 million is said to go to the Department of Justice. A portion of that reward will go to the whistle-blower for his action.
Palmer's attorney couldn't disclose the amount of the reward, but said it was a "very fair amount" for his trouble and emotional turmoil experienced during the litigation.
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