WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government plans to punish Indian outsourcing giant Infosys with the largest immigration fine ever for seeking visas fraudulently for workers at big clients in America, the Wall Street Journal reported today.
Infosys is accused of putting workers on visitor visas, which are much easier and cheaper to obtain than the correct work visas. The fine is expected to be about $35 million, the paper said, quoting people close to the matter.
A probe by the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department concluded that Infosys used easy-to-get B1 visas, which are meant for short business visits, to bring an unknown number of its workers to the United States for long-term stays, the sources were quoted as saying.
The fine will be announced Wednesday, the Journal said.
Infosys would not confirm details of the fine but said in a statement earlier this month that it had reserved $35 million, including legal costs, based on talks with the U.S. government over the probe, which was announced in 2011.
Civil Resolution in the Works
An Infosys spokeswoman said today the company is "in the process of completing a civil resolution with the (U.S.) government regarding its investigation of visa issues and I-9 documentation errors."
She said the resolution had not been finalized.
With the alleged practice, Infosys could undercut competitors in bids for programming, accounting and other work performed for clients, the Journal said.
Infosys is known as an outsourcing company that does India-based computing and other technology services for Western clients, who have included Goldman Sachs Group, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. (IW 500/30).
But it also features thousands of U.S.-based employees who develop and install software for accounting, logistics and supply-chain management in the retailing, finance and manufacturing sectors, the Journal said.
Copright Agence France-Presse, 2013