IT outsourcing giant Infosys Wednesday announced it will pay the U.S. government a $34 million settlement to resolve an investigation into the company's use of visas for employees.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Texas had investigated Infosys over alleged abuses of B-1 visas, which allow foreign employees to visit the U.S. and participate in meetings or negotiate contracts but not actually perform any kind of labor during their stay. Authorities accused the company of using employees on B-1 visas to perform work designated for H1-B visa holders.
However, Bangalore-based Infosys, which has numerous offices across the U.S., denied the allegations and said it demands strict adherence to all laws and regulations in every country in which it operates.
"Infosys denies and disputes any claims of systemic visa fraud, misuse of visas for competitive advantage, or immigration abuse," the company said in a statement. "Those claims are untrue and are assertions that remain unproven. The Company's use of B-1 visas was for legitimate business purposes and not in any way intended to circumvent the requirements of the H-1B program.
"There were no criminal charges or court rulings against the Company. Furthermore, there are no limitations on the Company's eligibility for federal contracts or access to U.S. visa programs as a result of the settlement," the statement read.
In its statement, Infosys claimed the investigation was related to "paperwork errors" involving I-9 for employment eligibility in the U.S. and not the systemic fraud and abuse of B-1 visas that the government alleged.
"The settlement is focused on historical I-9 paperwork errors from 2010-2011 that Infosys began correcting before the investigation began," Infosys said. "There is no evidence that the I-9 paperwork violations allowed any Infosys employee to work beyond their visa authorization."
When contacted by CRN, a company spokesperson said Infosys hasn't specified what caused the errors in the I-9 applications.
Infosys said it had already set aside $35 million to cover the settlement, including attorney's fees. The company said it agreed to the settlement to remove any uncertainty around prolonged litigation with the U.S. government.
PUBLISHED OCT. 30, 2013