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Shaah (blah blah blah)     06 September 2010

H1B fraudulent company - Need help!

  You must be aware that the H1B visa is the most sought after Visa Category by IT professionals with an American Dream for entry into the USA. An H1B visa petition cannot be obtained by any individual - by himself/herself. Instead it has to be filed by an American Employer on your behalf.

  There are many Indian companies (read "desi consultants" - that's how they are known in the US) who setup a small "shop" in the US - claiming that they are operating out of the USA - in addition to their branches in India. What these guys do is *not* development of software, though they claim to be software companies, but instead just body-shop people from India to the US. The employees of such desi companies are then contracted out to other software companies - which is how they make their money.

  We are a group of engineers who got cheated by one such company that is spread across India, Singapore and the USA. This fraudulent company has collected Rs.50,000 in early 2009 from each of us to sponsor an H1B visa. After the payment was done, there has been no news from them. There is also no proof from them stating that they indeed tried to get an H1B petition for us. Their intention was most likely to pocket our money.

  This company had offices in several parts of India, Singapore and USA. But now they seem to have shut most of their offices and cannot be traced. Their last known address is in Chennai.

  Some had filed cases against the company. Some got their money. Some got cheques that bounced - and that too in the name of another company - which proves that these guys might be operating in another name now.

  Having received a number of complaints against these guys, The police must be aware of the culprits. But the sad part is that these cheats are still out in the open, when they should have been behind bars.

 

  Our group wants to get these guys arrested, get back Rs.50,000 + interest + compensation for mental agony, etc.

  I am sure expert lawyers in this group understand our anger. Could someone give us suggestions to proceed?

How is ICRPC (icrpc dot org)?
 

Thanks for your help!



 5 Replies

B K Raghavendra Rao (Senior Advocate)     06 September 2010

You ought to have been careful before making payment.  Extraordinary care should have been taken to verify the antecedents of the fradulent companies to know the bonafide existence and operation of such companies.  So, basically, you have committed a mistake.

Nevertheless you have been cheated.  The cheat company has collected money from you for rendering certain services but has not.  Therefore, it comes under consumer protection act. You are at liberty to proceed against the company for deficiency of service.  Proceedings in consumer courts are simpler and faster.  You get justice very fast.

If the cheat company has closed down or is not traceable or has cheated altogether, then you are liberty to file a criminal case against such a company for cheating, criminal misappropriation of funds, criminal breach of trust under various provisions of Indian Penal Code. This case does not come under cyber law but under penal provisions.  

If the cheat company cannot be traced, then there is no point in having high hopes of getting back your money or causing punishment to the criminals. If you can trace them, immediately lodge police complaint for cheating, criminal misappropriation of funds, criminal breach of trust.

Basically, you must have some documentary proof in support of your statements.  If you are in a group, it is always better to lodge complaint with police. 

1 Like

Shaah (blah blah blah)     06 September 2010

Sir


  Thanks for your response. The cheat company does send emails to some of our group members - every now & then - saying they would return the money in 10 days, 20 days. They have even mentioned that - they have promised the Police Commissioner (dont know which city) that they will refund the money - and asked us to be patient and co-operate with them.

 

  We have waited and waited and waited and are no longer in a position to believe such mails. Though they send emails, they do not share their phone numbers.


  However, cant the cheats be traced through Cyber Crime cell - by tracing the source of their emails?

  We are a group of around 30 people spread across Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, etc. - most of them at Bangalore. In such a case, where should we file the POLICE COMPLAINT?

 

Can we approach the International Consumer Rights Protection Council (ICRPC.org)?

 

Thanks again.

B K Raghavendra Rao (Senior Advocate)     06 September 2010

We can trace the source of the e-mail and know who has sent it.  We require detailed header of one or two e-mail messages.  Police complaint has to be filed where the crime has taken place.  Each victim has to individually file the complaint in the jurisdictional police station where the payment was made.  If the cheat company has office in Bangalore, it could be filed in Bangalore.  No, the crime has taken place in India may be under the guise of an international service.

The above clarification is only with regard to tracing the criminal and filing criminal case against him.   

kartikeya (lawyer/cyber law consultant/cyber crime investigator)     06 September 2010

1st of all as my learned friend Raghvendra suggested ur case does not fall in cyber law/ IT act... u can file criminal as well as consumer complain in this regard.. now a days people are damn crazy about US that they don't even think that they are gaining or loosing by applying with any so called companies... and u r engineer very knowledgable person... anyways... u can trace them out not a big deal but still chances are very few to take action as they may be in USA or some other country rather than India .. and it cost u more than u pay... 1st file case of criminal asap then consumer....

1 Like

Kamal Grover (Advocate High Court Chandigarh M:09814110005 email:adv.kamal.grover@gmail.com)     06 September 2010

Dear Mr.Shaah,

You have to file a criminal complaint and if police is not taking any action then file a private complaint.

You have to approcah the newpapers and newschannels only then you will get results fast.

Else police has its jurisdiction so they will not easily findout these personss but you can approach interpol also to findout these culprits through court.

Regards

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