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Rs3.1 bn paid to law firms/lawyers in international litigations since 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan might have to pay a hefty fine worth Rs85 billion in the coming months. The country was slapped with this heavy fine of millions of dollars after it met embarrassing outcome in several international legal disputes and litigations.

The latest outcome came when the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) directed Islamabad to pay Rs11 billion claimed by the independent power producers (IPPs) by issuing a final partial award against Pakistan. The federal government has been heavily engaged in international arbitrations under public and private international laws where it has paid around Rs3.1 billion to several law firms/lawyers since 2013.

This correspondent in several background meetings with senior officials associated with international arbitrations learnt that Pakistan was paying millions of dollars to around a dozen law firms/lawyers to plead cases namely; Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, Karkey Rental, Rekodiq mining, Kishanganga hydropower, Progas LPG, Hubco Power, Sapphhire Electric, Halmore Energy and this list goes on. But not a single victory could be achieved by the hired legal teams so far.

Another tribunal will also start proceedings in another case to determine the quantum of rest of damages claimed by nine companies of the IPPs for which a hearing is scheduled for next month, a cabinet member told The News. “Claims’ amount may go up after a new quantum stage set up,” he feared. The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSIDs) awarded some $700 million to Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim after a Turkish filed damage suit against Pakistan. Current Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif approached the Supreme Court against the contract awarded by the previous government to Karkey. If it was not enough then Pakistan met another embarrassment when the International Court of Justice ruled against Pakistan by putting stay on execution of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav. “Pakistan made a mistake in Jadhav case,” observed Justice (R) Shaiq Usmani. “It (Pakistan) has shot its own foot. It’s Pakistan’s mistake to have appeared there. They shouldn’t have attended (this proceedings),” Justice Usmani remarked.

Similarly, Islamabad and New Delhi failed to reach any agreement on the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) last week. Both neighbours held talks on this issue in Washington DC where Islamabad apparently could not convince the arbiters about its objections against the designs of Ratle and Kishenganga hydroelectric power projects in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK).

“We need to settle with foreign investors in order to attract investments — recent embarrassments at international forums are alarming for us,” admitted a cabinet member who did not want to be named. “The Supreme Court’s orders in Karkey were perhaps disregarded by international forums — so the top court also needs to be careful in commercial matters, particularly in our international commitments,” he told this correspondent. Shedding light on reasons which led to this failure, he further said, “hesitation of various departments to develop a consensus to resolve the matter is responsible for this outcome — government generally engaged good legal teams but the best legal teams cannot make up for lapses of their clients.” Ministries of Water and Power and Law and Justice did not offer their comment on this development by saying, “reports pertaining to international arbitrations are not factually incorrect. We are consulting our legal teams and will respond accordingly”. Zahid Hamid, Minister for Law and Justice, did not offer comment despite attempts by this correspondent.

Another senior official associated with the Ministry of Law and Justice was of the view that the government also did not avail its newly passed laws pertaining to ‘Mediation Act’ which provides this window of setting up a panel of retired judges to resolve such issues. In IPPs and Karkey and several other cases, he recalled, international investors have repeatedly been requesting for the settlement on win-win terms but traditional indemnity of civil servants remained a major stumbling block in way of avoiding current billions of rupees loses to national exchequer. The senior official, who is not authorised to speak to media, was of the view that civil servants have concerns that if they settle for lesser amount, later institutions like the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will come after them — therefore they hesitated and arbitration moved on resulting into adverse orders.

Ahmer Bilal Soofi, ex (caretaker) federal law minister, was of the view that it was necessary to contest all international cases fully once filed but there should be a strategy to avoid or resolve international litigation. “My experience is that in most of such cases international investor is keen to talk to someone in the government and finds a resolution even before filing claim. Officials remain reluctant to negotiate and settle for fear of subsequent NAB’s inquiry against them,” Ahmer Bilal Soofi, an authority on international laws, told this correspondent. He said further negotiation requires coordination and consensus of several ministries, provincial governments, Prime Minister Secretariat etc and that takes enough time and on the other hand arbitration processes moves on and final orders or awards get issued. “That weakens bargaining power of the government,” he said, adding, “It is important to recognise that all claimants are actually foreign investors and if we resolve and settle claims we encourage other foreign investors to invest in economic zones of Pakistan and that will also act as a positive balancing factor here.”

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Rule on subsidiaries may limit operational flexibility of firms

The ministry of corporate affairs last Wednesday notified rules that restrict the layers of subsidiaries that companies can have to two, which will apply prospectively. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

The ministry of corporate affairs last Wednesday notified rules that restrict the layers of subsidiaries that companies can have to two, which will apply prospectively. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

New Delhi: The new limit on layers of subsidiaries that companies can have and the requirement to disclose all existing ones announced by the government last week is set to lift the corporate veil over ownership of assets held through a complex web of subsidiaries.

While the move will help the state in its fight against shell companies, it will cost businesses some operational flexibility that they want for strategic reasons, say experts.

The ministry of corporate affairs last Wednesday notified rules that restrict the layers of subsidiaries that companies can have to two, which will apply prospectively.

Existing companies, however, have to disclose all details of their entire list of subsidiaries to the registrar of companies within 150 days.

The disclosure requirement is set to create a massive databank of corporate entities, which will aid the government in its crackdown on shell companies.

Banks and insurance firms are excluded from this norm.

Disclosing the identity of the promoter group at times impacts its operational flexibility. For instance, large business groups often want to keep themselves anonymous at the time of land acquisition for industrial purposes to prevent price inflation and local protests. Also, businesses prefer to hold certain assets through a downstream subsidiary to insulate them from any legal or business trouble that might hit the holding company.

“The decision to restrict subsidiaries to two layers is a compromise between two thought processes—the government’s desire to check misuse of tier three and further down subsidiaries for alleged ulterior purposes, and companies’ legitimate requirement of having layers of subsidiaries to structure business,” said Ved Jain, former president of accounting rule maker the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Limiting the layers of subsidiaries was a longstanding goal of the government, for which it managed to include an enabling provision (section 2) in the Companies Act of 2013 despite industry opposition. Although the ministry’s regulatory objective was to keep state intervention limited, leaving markets to ensure compliance, the fraud involving Satyam Computer Services Ltd in 2009 and the global financial crisis of 2007-08 prompted it to include the power to restrict layers of subsidiaries in the company law, to be exercised through rules. The Act already limits layers of subsidiaries used for investments to two.

Experts also said the new norms on subsidiaries could trigger closures or mergers of business entities. “With the government taking a tough position on shell companies and the ease with which a new company can be opened at present, businesses will prefer to retain only their relevant subsidiaries and close down or merge those that have outlived their purpose,” said Pavan Kumar Vijay, founder of advisory firm Corporate Professionals.

However, some experts said the restriction on subsidiaries will cause a setback to ease of doing business and cause hardships to honest businesses, which will have to pay the price for the wrongdoings of a dishonest minority. “Corporate governance is a cultural issue, which has been improving in India over the years. The second generation family- owned businesses are better professionally managed. Tighter disclosure norms and tougher penalty will help in preventing the abuse of the corporate structure. However, denying honest businesses the right to structure operations the way they consider efficient is a heavy price for them to pay,” said Sumant Batra, managing partner of law firm Kesar Dass B. & Associates.

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 Kari: Some Insurance Firms Are Too Financially Feeble  

By Ebere Nwoji

The Commissioner for Insurance, Alhaji Mohammed Kari, has said that some insurance firms operating in Nigeria are financially too weak. He also noted that these firms that are too financially feeble to operate are violating rules and regulations of the insurance industry in their bid to raise money for workers’ salaries.

Kari, made the remark in his keynote address at the 2017 Insurance Professionals’ Forum held in Abeokuta. Ogun State.

He said: “Insurance institutions must therefore review and where necessary, enhance their capital, risk management and governance in order to survive the interesting future ahead. Barring hindrances such as high costs of

implementation, paucity of requisite data and skills and political obstacles; we posit that an intelligence implementation of a strategic consolidation in Nigeria will boost the overall performance of the industry and position it as one of the foremost in the continent”.

Kari, who noted that his remarks should not be mistaken for another call for recapitalisation and consolidation exercise in the industry also said that the Nigerian insurance market deserves to be reckoned with internationally hence the need for operators to cooperate with each other.

According to him, “Our market by all standard deserves to be reckoned with in the International playground of insurance, but how can we when we operate in uncoordinated silos. We have to wake up, sort ourselves out and be ready to play our role at least in the sub-region.”

He  lamented that  the  conduct of some of Nigeria’s insurance professionals is to say the least, appalling even as he urged the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, (CIIN) to take a critical look at the development with a view to coming up with measures to arrest it.

“We look forward to a day when a professional will be de-certified by the Institute for unprofessional conduct. Cases abound around us in other professions where the privileges of a practitioner are withdrawn for some unacceptable act in his calling”, he observed.

The Commissioner said when the President of CIIN, Funmi Babington -Ashaye and some members of her team visited his office in Abuja, he emphasised on the need to ensure members of the institute uphold the ethics of the profession.

He therefore called on the CIIN to review its Code of Conduct for members in order to be in tune with the current international best practice.

“There is obvious need to enforce discipline in the system and there cannot be a better a place to start than from the members of the Institute. In the spirit of self-regulation, the Commission therefore demands that the Institute gives an accelerated attention and incept the process of reviewing and enforcing the Code of Conduct for members, failure of which we would be left no option but to enforce it as contained the law”, he said.

Babington-Ashaye, on her part, said the theme of this year’s forum, ‘Solvency, Stability and Growth- Exploring Possibilities’, was specially and carefully chosen to draw attention to some of the critical challenges currently facing the insurance  industry so that operators can evolve strategic solutions for the benefit of the industry.

She noted that when the economy was growing at an impressive rate and prospering, all sectors, including the insurance industry, also flourished.

According to her, similarly, since the economy has been experiencing serious macroeconomic challenges which currently manifest in sharp drop in productive and economic activities, high unemployment and crime rates, delinquent credit facilities and failure of many businesses, the insurance business is inevitably affected.

She noted that the need to meet insurance obligations have actually increased with these challenges.

According to her, although the nation has, happily, exited from recession, people must acknowledge the fact that many businesses and individuals are still going through financial and economic crises caused largely by happenings in the local and global business environments, over which they and insurance practitioners have no control.

“As an industry that indemnifies investors and risk takers, insurance underwriters must remain stable, strong, resilient and financially solvent enough to meet emerging obligations. How to achieve these goals in a sustainable way is part of the objectives of this year’s forum,” she stressed.

Seized Arms: Container Examination Followed Due Process, Says TICT

The management of Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) has said that contrary to media reports, the positioning and subsequent physical examination of a container of arms seized by the Nigeria Customs Service at the Tin Can Port followed due process.

Legal Manager of TICT, Mrs. Maryann Olopade, said in a statement in Lagos on Thursday that it was mischievous to speculate that the terminal operator was “in trouble” over the seized container of arms.

She said: “We have observed with great displeasure the false, unverified and unprofessional statement published in some newspapers. For the avoidance of doubt and in the interest of the well-meaning citizens of this great Country Nigeria, we wish to state as follows:

“Container No GESU 2555208-0, was discharged on our terminal on the 2nd of September 2017, from the Vessel M/V Bella Schulte Voyage 23582, it was booked on the 5th of September 2017 for examination on the 6th of September 2017, the booking for examination was duly reflected in the examination list for 6th of September 2017 and the list was delivered to the Customs CIU unit, and other Government Agencies.

“In line with the said booking the container was rightly positioned for examination, and the seal of the said container was cut on the instruction of Customs Officers.

“Following the discovery of the ammunitions in the said container, TICT as a responsible corporate citizen has rendered and continues to render every necessary assistance and information to assist the customs in the investigation of this matter, which such information has resulted in the interception of another container belonging to the same consignee also containing ammunitions.

TICT having acted at all times with every sense of responsibility is therefore surprised at the misinformation to the general public on this matter.”

Olopade explained that TICT’s function as a terminal operator is limited, amongst other things, to the receipt of containers from carrying vessels and delivery of same to the consignee’s, and as such TICT is not in any position to determine the type or nature of the cargo consigned in any container.

“Furthermore, we wish to assure the good people of our country Nigeria and indeed our esteemed client’s that we remain committed to deliver service with every sense of responsibility,” she added


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Firms Move Staff To Bermuda Due To Hurricane

[Written by Don Burgess]

Hurricane Irma has forced law and accounting firms to uproot some of their employees to Bermuda from the British Virgin Islands.

Conyers Dill & Pearman, Appleby, EY, and Deloitte are just some of the companies now conducting their BVI business from Bermuda.

Mark Forte, partner and head of the Conyers BVI office told Bernews through a statement that “we have relocated seven of our people to Bermuda and 12 to Cayman on an interim basis.

“Conyers will continue to conduct BVI work from various of its offices worldwide, and with respect to personnel, we hope to phase them back to BVI in the course of the following six months.”

Mr. Forte added, “Conyers remains committed to the BVI as a jurisdiction and our office located there. What happened had a profound effect on the Conyers family and the people of the BVI generally.

“We will strive to reinstate our presence on the ground in similar numbers as soon as reasonably possible and, in the interim, remain fully supportive of all our staff both there and relocated.

A spokesperson from Appleby told Bernews that two employees moved to the Bermuda office from the BVI.

“Following the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we are continuing our efforts to support our colleagues, the BVI, and the BVI business community, Our BVI team is operational, and business continuity measures are in place for our BVI clients.”

The spokesperson added, “We will continue to work alongside the BVI Government to establish and support the humanitarian relief effort required to support the people of the BVI at this time.

“Appleby has joined the Alliance of BVI Professional Services Businesses, representing the legal and professional services firms with operations in the BVI. As an alliance, we have agreed to support the BVI Government’s charitable efforts and donate towards the central fund.

According to the Financial Times, EY also moved most of its ten staff from BVI to Bermuda and the Caymans.

John Johnston, CEO of Deloitte’s operations in Bermuda and the Caribbean region, said in a release: “There is a tightly knit community of professional services firms in BVI and the level of collaboration and support between firms to help each other has been notable.

“Most of our people will be temporarily located in Bermuda and Cayman, where they will continue to serve clients.”

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MoCI team inspects 296 LLC firms under Foreign Investment Act

A press release stated that the companies inspected have been set up under the Foreign Investment Act. Khaled bin Khamis al Masrory, director of Department for Monitoring Commercial Facilities, and a member of the joint inspection team said, “We visit the companies to know about their financial status, so that they can be modernised and accredited through an audit office.”

MoCI Khaled bin Khamis Al Masrory

Masrory added, “We also inspect the rental contracts, national authorisations for various activities, documents of the commercial register, social insurance, list of all the employees (Omanis and foreigners) in addition to a list of the money transferred in the last three months. We also check copies of car ownerships if available in the company.”

Masrory said that the inspections this year targeted 301 companies that got their authorisation in 2016. “The percentage of the foreign investment should not be more than 70 per cent and not less than ten per cent, with exceptions to some sectors, according to the agreements signed with the sultanate.”

Masrory said that Omani partners who desire to register a company subject to the Foreign Investment Act only need to present a certificate issued by the ROP proving that they don’t have any criminal record. Individuals are to present a bank account opened at least six months ago to guarantee their money. Companies need to present written proof of the meetings of the company signed by all the partners, or a decision from the board of directors with the documents of registration and a copy of the final audit or the company’s bank statement not less than six months.

Masrory said, “Foreign partners need to present a certificate issued from their country proving that they don’t have a criminal record. Individuals are to present a bank account opened at least six months ago to guarantee their money, or to prove their ownership of any institution or company in their country authenticated with a copy of the statements of the company, under the condition that it has been established three years ago.”

He said that companies need to present a written proof of meetings of the company signed by all the partners, or a decision from the board of directors along with the documents of registration and a copy from the final audit, or the company’s bank statement of not less than three years. Moreover, the citizens in some countries are obliged to investigation by the ROP to guarantee that they have no criminal record.

Masrory added, “Foreign partners who are residents in the sultanate and who desire to establish a company subject to the Foreign Investment Law, will need to present a written consent from the company they are working for, showing the company consent for them establishing the company as founders, and to present there is no criminal record.”

Citizens from certain countries are required to get an investigation form from the ROP. They also need to present proof of financial capabilities by presenting bank statements or any sort of a proof for the money. In addition, they will need to present a written consent from the foreign company they are working for in case one of the partners wants to open a new company with new partners, he said. Masrory assured that the partners should commit to the following procedures when applying for a request to set up a company. This includes contract on setting up the company with filled in form for registering a project and consent form to register an investment company. All the documents must be attached to the registration form.

He added that the ministry has the right to investigate the financial status of an individual in the company if needed. This in addition to applying for requests with the department of investors services in the ministry or in the directorates and administrations in the governorates or audit offices after the completion of all required work. In case registration is approved, the applicant will be notified through an SMS.

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95 mobile firms set up plants in India: IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

New Delhi : Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Sunday said that 95 mobile manufacturing companies have set up their plants under the new government. “Today 95 mobile manufacturing factories have come in India and India is becoming a big hub of electronics and mobile manufacturing. 32 have come in Noida and Greater Noida,” Prasad said at Capital Foundation Annual Lecture. He was speaking on ‘Emerging Digital World In India’.

  “In Silicon Valley 51 pc of new inventions are IT based and 14 per cent of those are created by Indian minds there. That is how India is emerging,” Prasad said. He said that young entrepreneurs are growing their businesses and raising hundreds of millions from investors.

“Every day we are adding 3-4 start-ups. They are IITians, they left their jobs in America and come back to India,” Prasad said.

The minister complimented the Supreme Court for leveraging digital technology. “We have created digital data grid. Today we have got about 6 cr orders of judgements on the digital data grid and about 4 cr of pending cases are also there. At a click of button you can monitor it,” Prasad said.

© Copyright Indian National Press (Bombay) Private Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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H-1B Visas; How Hyderabadis & Indian IT firms fooled Americans

U.S. government created the H-1B visa program in 1990 so, that U.S.companies could hire foreigners with special skills. Approximately 85,000 H-1B visas are distributed annually. (1)

Majority of them go to technology companies, which claim that U.S has a shortage of skilled technology workers. (6)

Critics, however say that H-1B visa program has been hijacked by Indian staffing companies, which use these H-1B visas to import foreigners, especially from India.(7)

These Indians are willing to work for lesser wages than Americans. Numerous U.S companies have laid off their tech employees and replaced them with Indian H-1B visa holders. (7)

Four Indian-Americans were indicted in 2016 for plotting to commit H-1B visa fraud in U.S. They used 3 California based corporations to orchestrate the improper submission of more than 100 H-1B visa applications. (2)

These companies either didn’t exist or never intended to receive the foreign workers. (2)

Through their ownership, direction and control of the aforementioned companies, these four, which include a married couple generated a net profit of approximately $17 million from 2010-2014. (2)

Another Indian couple along with four other co-conspirators was indicted by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia last year. They also had set up a network of shell companies and filed H-1B visa applications for non-existent job vacancies. (3)

Workers were required to pay for their own visa processing fees and were treated as hourly contractors. Treating H-1B workers as hourly contractors is in violation of the H-1B visa program rules. (3)

These conspirators submitted more than 800 H-1B visa petitions over a period of nearly 15 years generating an illegal income of nearly $ 20 million for themselves. (3)

All the above fraudsters belonged to either the Indian province of Andhra Pradesh or Telangana. A large number of Andhraites and Telanganites regularly set up shell companies and file H-1B visa applications for non-existent job vacancies. (10)

According to the US diplomatic cables accessed by the ‘Hindu’ newspaper via wiki leaks, after going through visa-applications received by consular offices in India during 2008 and 2009, the United States authorities found that fraudulent applications were very high.(4)

The majority of fake documents, fabricated educational and employment qualifications came from the city of Hyderabad, the capital city of now Telangana province and previously the capital of undivided Andhra Pradesh province in the Southern region of India. (4)

When 150 companies in Hyderabad were investigated 77 percent of them turned out to be fraudulent or highly suspect. (4)

There were also many fictious companies in cities like Bangalore and Pune run by Hyderabadis. The cables said, “Hyderabadis claimed that these shell companies were opened in Pune and Bangalore because everyone knows Hyderabad has fraud and Bangalore, Pune are reputable” (4)

Robert X. Cringely, a famous author, T.V host and consultant wrote about an interesting case revealing a unique mode of H-1B visa fraud. (5)

It’s about a lawyer, Marijan Cvjeticanin. His law firm represents technology companies seeking IT job candidates. On the side Marijan also owns an advertising agency, which places employment advertisements for these IT companies. (5)

Majority of the advertisements mainly in ‘Computerworld’ were never placed. Client companies paid thousands of Dollars for employment advertisements in ‘Computerworld’ that never appeared in the digital magazine. (5)

Cringely poses a very relevant question, whether these IT companies really paid for these job advertisements or just mentioned in their documentation that, they paid for these job advertisements. (5)

This constitutes serious H-1B visa fraud. In order to hire an H-1B worker in place of a U.S citizen or green card holder, the hiring company must show that there is no qualified citizen or green card holder available to take the position. (5)

These IT companies therefore are posting jobs that don’t really exist, seeking candidates they don’t want and showing payments for bogus non-existing advertisements to prove there’s an IT labor shortage in U.S. (5)

Letters from an employer needing a foreign worker are valuable currency in the shadowy world of tech staffing firms known as ‘body shops’. (1)

Through Indian affiliates these job brokers advertise that they have expertise in obtaining visas for a price. To avoid detection the firms require workers to make payments to a subsidiary in India or to one of the company owners Indian relatives. (1)

Once these workers reach U.S, they may wait for the broker to find them work or they look for their own jobs. The body shops take a slice of the paychecks. This scheme requires proof of a waiting job, which comes in the form of a ‘client letter’. (1)

These letters are issued by a corporation that’s actually an empty shell, a real company selling letters to staffing firms or completely fake. (1)

Tech job-boards like Benchfolks.com are full of advertisements from Indian workers that they are already in the U.S on H-1B visas and available for new work at a moment’s notice. H-1B visa rules however, require that applicants should have a specific job lined up well ahead of time. (1)

“I am surprised at the scale and visibility” said Ron Hira, an associate public policy professor at Howard University and an expert on off-shore labor and skilled-workers immigration. (1)

Mr. Hira states that two India based IT firms Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services specialize in outsourcing and offshoring. They both are major publicly traded companies with a combined market value of about $115 Billion and are the top two H-1B employers in the United States.(6)

These firms use the H-1B programs to replace America workers and to facilitate the offshoring of American jobs. Mr. Hira through his research proved how these Indian IT companies fooled the U.S authorities. (6)

The average wage for an H-1B employee at Infosys in Financial year (FY) 2013 was $70,882 and for Tata it was $65,565. American IT specialists were earning an average annual base pay of $110,446 for this period. (6)

It clearly shows that Tata and Infosys make about 36-41 percent savings on labor costs thereby saving $40,000-$45,000 per worker per year. (6)

In 2013 Tata paid $30 million to settle a wage theft dispute involving 13,000 foreign workers and Infosys paid a record $34 million to settle a visa fraud case after committing systematic visa fraud and abuse of immigration processes. (6)

The vast majority of Infosys and Tata’s imported workers from India on H-1B workers visas just had a Bachelors degree. Indian IT firms like Infosys and Tata use H-1B workers as temporary, cheaper, disposable labor not as a way to permanently introduce talent and innovation into the American labor market as falsely claimed by them. (6)

These Indian IT firms will now start a new trick, wherein on paper they will claim to pay the freshly recruited Indian IT worker, the revised H-1B annual salary of approximately $ 130,000 (9) but in reality, they would get just the old wages. The new salary would be paid only on paper in the records of these Indian IT firms. (8)

The Indian IT workers would be required to pay the difference plus a premium in Indian currency to the company in India before getting their H-1B visas.

This way U.S authorities would never be able to prove any wrongdoing. Every single IT professional in India dreams of getting to U.S on an H-1B visa therefore, these firms would find enough takers for this potential future swindle. (8)

In view of the deception and cheating done by Indian IT firms for H-1B visas, Trump administration should strictly ensure that Indian IT companies hire fresh H-1B tech workers only from within U.S.A.

It will shatter the myth of Indian IT talent falsely propagated by Indian companies to bring cheap labor to U.S, thereby earning Billions of Dollars for themselves and rendering competent local Americans unemployed.

Sources;

  1. https://www.revealnews.org/article-legacy/visa-fraud-in-us-tech-industry-relies-on-falsified-job-letters/
  2. http://www.ndtv.com/indians-abroad/4-indian-americans-charged-with-h-1b-visa-fraud-1404396
  3. http://www.computerworld.com/article/3064712/h1b/us-uncovers-20m-h-1b-fraud-scheme.html
  4. http://www.thehindu.com/news/the-india-cables/Hyderabad-a-U.S.-visa-fraud-hub/article12060964.ece#!
  5. http://www.cringely.com/2013/07/18/so-thats-how-h-1b-visa-fraud-is-done/
  6. http://www.epi.org/blog/new-data-infosys-tata-abuse-h-1b-program/
  7. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/us-opens-probe-against-tcs-infosys-for-h1b-visa-violations/article7309212.ece
  8. http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-two-indian-americans-arrested-for-h-1b-visa-fraud-in-us-2085599
  9. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/18/trump-to-order-increased-scrutiny-h-1b-visa-program.html
  10. http://immigrationlegalblog.com/2011/07/india-biannual-fraud-update-published-by-the-us-state-department/

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SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Reminds Shareholders with Losses on their Investment in Equifax, Inc. of Class Action Lawsuit and Upcoming Deadline – EFX

Sep 23, 2017 (ACCESSWIRE via COMTEX) — NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / September 23, 2017 / Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Equifax, Inc. (“Equifax” or the “Company”)

EFX, +6.91%

and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and docketed under 17-cv-07082, is on behalf of a class consisting of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired Equifax securities, seeking to recover compensable damages caused by defendants’ violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Equifax securities between February 25, 2016, and September 7, 2017, both dates inclusive, you have until November 13, 2017, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class. A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com. To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased.

[Click here to join this class action]

Equifax is a global provider of information solutions and human resources business process outsourcing services for businesses, governments, and consumers.

The Complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) the Company failed to maintain adequate measures to protect its data systems; (2) the Company failed to maintain adequate monitoring systems to detect security breaches; (3) the Company failed to maintain proper security systems, controls and monitoring systems in place; and (4) as a result of the foregoing, the Company’s financial statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On September 7, 2017, Equifax disclosed a cybersecurity incident involving consumer information impacting 143 million U.S. consumers.

On release of the news, the Company’s share price fell $24.09 per share, from a closing price on September 7, 2017 of $142.72 per share to a low of $118.63 per share on September 8, 2017, a drop of approximately 16.8%.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com.

SOURCE: Pomerantz LLP

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SHAREHOLDER ALERT:  Pomerantz Law Firm Reminds Shareholders with Losses on their Investment in PetMed Express, Inc. of Class Action Lawsuit and Upcoming Deadline – PETS

NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pomerantz LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed against PetMed Express, Inc. (“PetMed” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:PETS) and certain of its officers.  The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, and docketed under 17-cv-81019, is on behalf of a class consisting of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired PetMed securities, seeking to recover compensable damages caused by defendants’ violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

If you are a shareholder who purchased PetMed securities between May 8, 2017, and August 23, 2017, both dates inclusive, you have until October 24, 2017, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com.  To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number, and the number of shares purchased. 

[Click here to join this class action]

PetMed Express, Inc. and its subsidiaries, doing business as 1-800-PetMeds, operates as a pet pharmacy in the United States. The Company markets prescription and non-prescription pet medications, health products, and supplies for dogs and cats to retail customers.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) PetMed engaged in questionable practices in connection with the sales and marketing of the Company’s opioid products; (ii) the foregoing conduct, when it became known, would likely subject the Company to heightened legal and regulatory scrutiny; and (iii) as a result of the foregoing, PetMed’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.   

On August 23, 2017, Aurelius Value published a report entitled “PetMed: Exploiting America’s Opioid Epidemic,” alleging that the Company targets opioid users with Google ads and other marketing techniques aimed at facilitating the abuse of opioids. 

On this news, PetMed’s share price fell $3.19, or 8.09%, to close at $36.22 on August 23, 2017.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com

CONTACT:
Robert S. Willoughby
Pomerantz LLP
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com

 


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Beshear hires law firms for opioid investigation

Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general says he has hired four law firms to investigate and potentially sue several makers and marketers of opioid-based painkillers that have spurred a wave addiction across Appalachia.

But Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration said Andy Beshear’s announcement Friday was premature. Spokesman Glenn Waldrop said the Finance and Administration Cabinet has not approved the contract, and said Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office did not follow the required approval process.

“At the end of the day, there is a chance this contract may not be approved,” Waldrop said.

Deputy Attorney General J. Michael Brown said the lawsuits are “good for all Kentuckians and shouldn’t be political,” adding the attorney general’s office “followed all procurement laws and made this announcement consistent with previous awards.”

The team includes the firms of Morgan & Morgan, Motley Rice, the Lanier Law Firm and Ransdell Roach & Royse PLLC. Morgan & Morgan is based in Florida, but they have offices in Kentucky. Their attorneys include former Democratic Attorney General Greg Stumbo.

Ransdell Roach & Royse is based in Lexington. Its attorneys include John Roach, a former Kentucky Supreme Court justice who served on Bevin’s transition team after he was elected governor.

Motley Rice is based in South Carolina while the Lanier firm is based in Houston.

“We look forward to working with this experienced team of local and national attorneys who have the resources and knowledge to help this office secure funds,” Beshear said in a news release. “We need the best team to help us repair the harm caused by those who have played a role in Kentucky’s opioid crisis.”

Kentucky has one of the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the country. The state sued Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid-based painkiller Oxycontin, accusing it of lying to consumers about the addictive nature of the drug. The state settled the lawsuit in 2015 for $24 million.

Beshear took office in 2016. Before that, he worked for one of the law firms that defended Purdue Pharma, causing Republicans to raise questions about a conflict of interest. Beshear has said he was not an “active participant” on that case, but he might have answered some questions from his colleagues about it.

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