Tunnel Rat posted on February 24, 2012 10:01

Yeah, what else is new....

Authorities: Debt-Collector Scam Bilked Millions

By MICHAEL TARM Associated Press

A phone scam in which callers in India posed as debt collectors bilked millions of dollars out of more than 10,000 U.S. residents by using threats of arrest or the loss of their jobs, U.S. authorities said Tuesday in what they described as a first-of-its-kind investigation.

Callers drew on personal data snatched from payday loan websites, Federal Trade Commission official Steven Baker said. More than 20 million calls may have been placed over the past two years, with collectors demanding between $300 and $2,000 per call.

Such a far-reaching fraud with so many millions of calls flooding in from India is something investigators haven't seen before and was fostered in part by the plummeting costs of international calls, Baker, the FTC's Midwest director, said.

While federal authorities seem to have put a halt to this one scam by freezing the assets of a California-based business allegedly involved, Baker said other similar scams are almost certainly up and running.

"We think this is just the tip of the iceberg," he said.

Authorities have received more than 4,000 complaints about debt-collection schemes in recent years, said Baker. They describe aggressive, foul-mouthed callers, some of whom claimed to be agents of a nonexistent Federal Department of Crime and Prevention.

JanLaree Dejulius, of Las Vegas, was at work at a university office when she got a call from a man who gave his name as Officer Black. He knew one of her relatives had taken out a payday loan online. If Dejulius didn't pay up, he said he would send someone to her work to arrest her, she said.

"I said, 'Yeah, I'll pay you — whatever it takes (not to get arrested),'" the 57-year-old said at a news conference in Chicago. "I consider myself savvy, but I fell for it." She eventually agreed to pay $763.

Some callers threatened to call victims' bosses or sue them. The scare tactics were so effective that in some instances people agreed to pay hundreds of dollars even though they knew that neither they nor any acquaintances had payday debts, said Baker.

From 2010 to 2012, $5 million was paid in 17,000 transactions to accounts controlled by the alleged fraudsters. The targets included people who applied for loans by punching personal details into a payday site but whose applications were rejected, Baker said.

Payday loans are typically small, very short-term loans with extremely high interest rates that are effectively advances on a borrower's next paycheck. It is often people cash-strapped or living from paycheck to paycheck who use the service, Baker said.

Baker said to guard against scam artists, consumers should demand a written notice with debt amounts and the names of creditors. Debt collectors never have authority to arrest anyone, Baker added.

Asked what advice she'd give to would-be victims if they get a call, Dejulius said they shouldn't give in.

"Call them on it," she said. "Call their bluff if you know you haven't taken out a loan."

Baker said many questions remain unanswered, including how callers obtained such a vast amount of payday-loan information. He said the U.S. government needs help from authorities in India, where it is thought that all of the bogus calls came from.

The FTC charged Villa Park, Calif.-based American Credit Crunchers LLC, Ebeeze, LLC and their owner, Varang K. Thaker, with violating the FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. No criminal charges have been filed.

Thaker allegedly withdrew thousands of dollars paid by victims that ended up in his company accounts, though Baker said it wasn't clear if the overall scheme was directed primarily from California or India.

A U.S. district judge in Chicago has issued an order freezing Thaker's assets.

American Credit Crunchers or Ebeeze in Villa Park, Calif., did not have a current phone listing. There also was no listing for a Varang K. Thaker in the area. Federal court filings did not list an attorney for Thaker. The Online Lenders Alliance, an industry group for companies that offer loans over the Internet, said it reported complaints about the fraudulent calls to the FTC two years ago and has worked with authorities to stop the scam.

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Tunnel Rat posted on February 13, 2012 07:11
During his weekly video address, Senator Chuck Grassley presses President Obama to support his legislation to root out fraud and abuse from the H-1B visa program and ensure qualified Americans have the first opportunity to compete for jobs. Grassley highlights a discussion between the President and Jennifer Wedel who called attention to the difficulty many high-skilled Americans are having finding employment in this area.

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Tunnel Rat posted on February 3, 2012 01:08

This is not going away, slumdogs.  Your dirty little secret that most of Americans outside of IT have not heard about, the H-1B visa, is now front and center in the national debate:

As usual, Norm Matloff's analysis of Obama being challenged by Jennifer Wedel, the wife of an unemployed semiconductor engineer, is somewhat hopeless sounding and negative, but still good reading:

Something that happened this evening is one of the most remarkable
events I've seen in all the years I've been writing about the H-1B work
visa and age discrimination.

I was originally going to report on an article on the age problem in the
tech industry that ran in over the weekend.  Nice piece, in the Bay Area
edition of the New York Times, sourced from the Bay Citizen.  I will
indeed discuss this article later in this posting, but let me lead with
this evening's case in point:

President Obama held a live video chat this evening, and one Jennifer
Weddel of Fort Worth, TX, managed to get in a question:  "Why does the
government continue to extend H-1B visas when there are tons of
Americans just like my [engineer] husband with no job?”


Mr. Weddel (I don't know if he and his wife share a surname, but for
brevity I'll assume so here) is a semiconductor engineer, now out of
work for three years.  This of course is diametrically opposite to what
Obama has been telling the country, that we have a SHORTAGE of
engineers.  He's called for producing 10,000 more engineers, and
emphasized in his State of the Union address last week liberalizing H-1B
and/or green cards to keep foreign tech workers in the U.S., to remedy
that "shortage."

Obama's answer to Ms. Weddel was that, well, there are engineers and then
there are engineers, and talked about specialization.  He pointed out
that, what with the housing bust and all, civil engineers are not in
high demand these days.  He then asked Ms. Weddel what kind of engineer
her husband is, and she replied that he a semiconductor
engineer--exactly the kind of worker Obama thinks is in short supply!

Obama looked a bit caught off balance by that, and said he'd like to
know the details, because "the word we're getting is that somebody like
that should be getting work right away."  He asked Weddel to send him
her husband's CV.

Some of the engineers and programmers who oppose the H-1B program might
be saying now, as they read this, "Yes!  The President will finally hear
the truth about the H-1B visa!  He'll discover it's a sham, and he fix
the problem!"

Well, let's think about that, reason out some scenarios of what might
happen now, assuming that Obama does indeed ask his staff to follow up
on this.

I would guess that Obama's staff's industry contacts will make sure that
Mr. Weddel will get a job out of all this.  For him NOT to get a job
would risk having the truth come out--which is that H-1B is about AGE, a
way for employers to avoid hiring older (35+) Americans.  When they run
out of young Americans to hire, they have a large pool of young H-1Bs to
turn to.

Now, assuming Mr. Weddel does get a job, what will Obama's staff do
about the question his earlier predicament raised?  Will they say,
"Well, maybe the industry hasn't been fully truthful to us in their
claims of an engineering shortage"?  And if they do say that, will they
relay that concern to Obama, and if so, will he in turn start to
question his doing the industry's bidding on the H-1B issue?

A lot of ifs there, and my guess is No to all of the above.  They'll
simply report to Obama, "Good news, Mr. President--Weddel's husband has
found a job," and he'll say "Great, next issue."  He'll simply assume
that the guy was an anomaly, had somehow fallen through the cracks.

Of course, that's not what SHOULD happen.  Obama and his staff should
ask, "Now, wait a minute...how could this guy be unemployed for three
years in Texas, one of the biggest tech states in America?"  But they
won't ask it, either because they are so mesmerized by the industry
lobbyists or because they are so financially beholden to those same
lobbyists, or a combination of both.  Cognitive dissonance ought to be
at work here, but I doubt that it will.

In addition, there is the possibility that Obama and/or his staff are
already skeptical of the industry's claims, but simply cannot afford to
relinquish the industry's campaign donations.  An internal document
unearthed last year from the papers of the Clinton White House talks of
"call[ing the] industry's bluff re: their shortage of really
highly skilled and desirable workers."  If that were the case with the
Obama folks, Obama's surprised reaction to Weddel may have been somewhat

The worst possibility in my mind is that the Obama people take the
classic Democratic Party approach and decide that what Mr. Weddel needs
is...TRAINING!  (Whenever I trash the Democrats like this I feel
compelled to remind everyone that I'm a lifelong Democrat myself, no
ulterior motive here.)

The reason training doesn't work is that older workers are expensive.
After training (which many don't need anyway), they are STILL expensive.
So training does nothing.

Which brings me to the New York Times/Bay Citizen article (enclosed at
the end of this message).  The piece does a good job of getting the
point across that Mr. Weddel is definitely not alone.  On the contrary,
he's pretty much the norm.  However, the article drops the ball in not
identifying the central issue--MONEY, in the sense, once again, that the
older workers are perceived as simply being too expensive.

I tried to get this point across in the reporter's interview of me last
week, but I got the sense, correctly as it turns out, that his mind was
already made up:  The problem these older engineers have is that the
technology has simply passed them by; they just don't have the latest
skill sets.  I pointed out that many older engineers are exact matches
for jobs listed on companies' Web sites, yet never get so much as a
phone call in response to their application.  But by that time he'd
already heard too much from others that the problem was skill sets.
(More on his interviewees below.)

Ms. Weddel said she'd been married about 10 years, and she looked about
30 or so to me, which would likely put her husband in or near the danger
zone I've been warning about:  age 35.  The industry may tell Obama that
Mr. Weddel lacks some particular new technological skill, but that'll
probably be just a pretext.  The REAL reason engineers like Mr. Weddel
have trouble finding work was well illustrated in a rare slip by
Microsoft I've cited before:

      Microsoft...Senior Vice-President and Chief Technical Officer
      David Vaskevitch...acknowledges that the vast majority of
      Microsoft hires are young, but that is because older workers tend
      to go into more senior jobs and THERE ARE FEWER OF THOSE POSITIONS

(Emphasis added.)

It's like the old General Motors notion of "planned obsolescence," only
for people rather than cars.  And the H-1B program, made up overwhelming
of young workers, is what fuels all this.  In pre-H-1B days, it was
assumed that engineers and programmers would learn new technological
skills on their own, as part of their jobs; now, they often are not
given that chance.

Reporter Glantz has written an engaging piece, certainly recommended
reading, but as mentioned, it misses the boat on the central issue, that
older engineers are just too expensive.  Moreover, it's a pity that he
restricted his research (he did tell me he was on short deadline) in
employment counseling to government-financed agencies such as NOVA, and
industry-tied statistics gatherers such as Hancock.  Glantz would have
gotten a much more accurate picture had he talked to private employment
agencies, i.e.  "headhunters," who would have told him that, in
Microsoft's succinct words, "there are fewer [senior] positions to begin

As I said, Mr. Weddel is, if anything, typical.  I just talked yesterday
to a new PhD in a tech field.  He had worked in industry for some years
before returning to grad school, and did a dissertation which uses
state-of-the-art technology, on a very practical topic.  He had spent
about 10 years at two brand-name firms, working on key projects.  He's
articulate and well-liked.  So, he's just what Obama claims to want.
Yet he told me all his fellow students doing research in that field are
gettting showered with job offers, but nothing for him so far.  He is
also in his mid-30s. 

Mr. President, how many Mr. Weddels will it take to convince you that
something is terribly wrong with the H-1B program--and not just with the
Indian "bodyshops"?

Meanwhile, Jennifer Wedel's story is blowing up all over the internet.  I've always thought many techies were pussies when it came to the H-1B issue, and it is unfortunate that it was this engineer's wife, not him, who was the one to confront Obama on the ethnic cleansing of America engineers at the hands of the slumdog slave trade.


When I first started to take a militant stand on this issue, years ago, I was condemned for my rhetoric by many chickenshit cowards in Programmer's Guild and elsewhere.  But not anymore.



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"The president asked an online town hall questioner Monday to send him her husband's resume, insisting he wanted to look into why the man remained out of work despite his background as a semiconductor engineer.

"I meant what I said, if you send me your husband's resume, I'd be interested in finding out exactly what's happening right there," Obama told the questioner, Jennifer Wedel of Fort Worth, Texas.

He told Wedel that according to what he was hearing from industry, such high-tech fields are in great demand and her husband "should be able to find something right away."

Wedel told Obama that despite what he said, her husband had been out of work for three years. She wanted to know why foreign workers were getting visas for high-skilled work."

At about 5:51, Obama gets confronted by this understandably pissed off wife of an engineer who has been out of work for years:

Posted in:   Tags:
Tunnel Rat posted on January 23, 2012 12:35

Check out this buck-toothed slumdog "student" trying to get someone to vouch for his experience at these big companies:

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I made this video about two years ago and it was taken down off of YouTube, first because of copyright issues by the original movie company, and most recently by a court order issued by a delusional New Jersey judge (is there any kind) that was bribed by Apex Technology Group boss Sarvesh Kumar Dharayan and his mob lawyer, Patrick Papalia. Enjoy!

Apex Technology Group from Rudy Torrent on Vimeo.

tunnel rat posted on December 28, 2011 10:11

Yet another in a series of numerous lawsuits targeting the slumdog slave trade, one of which (not this one) I am currently a plaintiff in:

     DALLAS (CN) - A federal class action alleging forced labor, human trafficking and RICO violations claims a financial services tech company uses bait-and-switch tactics to lure foreign workers, whom it defrauds and underpays in violation of their employment agreements and of visa rules.
     Lead plaintiff Venkata Sudhakar Amerineni sued Maruthi Technologies dba Anblicks, three Maruthi officers, and Gavs Information Services dba Gavs Technologies.
     Maruthi's home page on the Internet claim it offers "innovative solutions for moving forward and navigat[ing] the road to recovery for financial sector."
     The class claims Maruthi uses bait-and-switch tactics to recruit foreign workers, then does not pay the full, legally required prevailing wages to workers with H-1B visas.
     Defendant Vamsi Kadiyala is described as a U.S. citizen and resident of India, who travels to the United States to do business for Maruthi and himself.
     "At all material times, Vamsi Kadiyala has been an owner of Maruthi. Vamsi Kadiyala was responsible for directing fraudulent operations and making false representations and attestations on behalf of Maruthi with regard to H-1B workers, including representations made regarding the plaintiff's H-1B visa application," the complaint states.
     Defendant Padmaja Kadiyala also is described as a U.S. citizen who lives in India and travels to the United States for business. She is accused of being "responsible for directing fraudulent operations and making false representations and attestations on behalf of Maruthi with regard to H-1B workers as discussed herein, including representations made regarding the plaintiff's H-1B visa application."
     Defendant Kumar Tirumal, of Irving, Texas, "has been the operations director of Maruthi," the complaint states. "Tirumal was responsible for directing fraudulent operations and making false representations and attestations on behalf of Maruthi with regard to H-1B workers as discussed herein."
     According to the complaint: "The Immigration and Nationality Act ('INA') limits the types of foreign workers eligible for H-1B visas, and imposes prevailing wage requirements on H-1B sponsor employers in order to protect American workers. "These wage requirements include that sponsor employers are required to pay their H-1B employees the higher of (a) actual wages the employer pays co-workers in related positions or (b) a 'prevailing wage' for the specialty, as determined by an independent survey of wages paid to workers similarly employed in the geographic area of intended employment. Sponsor employers are further required to provide prevailing wages to H-1B employees during the periods that they are in nonproductive status (commonly called 'benched' status): that is, when the H-1B worker is not performing work due to a decision by the employer, e.g., because of lack of assigned work. ... These wage requirements are designed to both prevent exploitation of foreign workers and to avoid the influx of cheap foreign labor for professional services."
     Amerineni claims Maruthi promised him $63,000 a year, but when he arrived, told him there was no work available and that he would not be paid for nonproductive time.
     "Maruthi requires these H-1B employees to obtain third-party consulting work and steer income from that work to Maruthi before these individuals are paid any wages," the complaint states.
     "In addition to unpaid 'benched' periods at the start of their employment relationship with Maruthi, those employees who do eventually find third-party consulting work often experience gap periods between consulting projects. These Maruthi H-1B employees are not paid the required prevailing wage, or any wages, during these gap periods of nonproductive/benched time.
     "Maruthi H-1B employees who do find paying project work continue to be underpaid by defendants, and receive less than the required prevailing wage or the wage promised by Maruthi," according to the complaint.
     Gavs is accused of participating in the scheme by arranging third-party work for Maruthi's H-1B workers.
     The class consists of all H-1B workers employed by Maruthi in the past 4 years who have been paid less than the full prevailing wage. It seeks damages for RICO violations, forced labor and human trafficking, and breach of contract.
     It is represented by Michael Brown with Peterson, Berk & Cross in Appleton, Wisc. 

tunnel rat posted on December 22, 2011 10:30

This one is from the vault, dedicated to the slumdog slave traders at Apex Technology Group, their fat fuck Desi boss, Sarvesh Kumar Dharayan, and their dumb wop lawyer, Patrick Papalia:

Twas Two Nights Before Christmas
-Ode to Tunnel Rat's Victory-

Twas two nights before Christmas, when all through the house
Champagne corks were popping, but not for that louse.
The one from New Jersey - that fat Hindi creep
Who hoped he could sue me but now he's in deep.

My New Jersey lawyer who could not be there,
While the judge threw the case out - all fair and square.
And the slave-driving Maderchod, who tried to ream me
Has now shined the light on his abuse of H-1B.

The techies were nestled all snug in their cubes,
Awaiting the verdict on these Apex boobs.
Away to my keyboard I stroked the good news,
Tore open the pantry and broke out the booze!

The moon exposed light on their labor petitions
Where they lied to the judge and made faulty admissions.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
A text on my cellphone, that their time was near.

With a little old driver, like Tiger Woods' wife
I wanted to bash him, for trying to ruin my life.
More restraint followed, his coursers they came,
As the judge redeemed End-H1B, and restored my good name.

Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the front page of InfoWeek, to the top of Google Rank,
I sent this yule tiding “GO SUCK ON MY CRANK!”

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
That the rat bastard Hindi had jack shit for proof.
As I drew in my head, a sketch of his face,
Being blown up to bits all over the place!

He was messed up for sure, from his head to his neck,
And his clothes were all trashed, as he mailed me my check.
For MY lawyer fees, which he tried to elude
He hadn't expected to pay for me getting sued.

His eyes-how they winced! His expression was scary!
His ass-cheeks were straining, his news wasn't merry!
His droll, weasley mouth was drawn up like a bow,
As he looked like he was getting ready to blow.

He was creepy and plump, a quivering mass of jelly,
And I laughed when I heard curry hurled from his belly.
A wink from my friends that this case was now dead,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, and when I went back to work,
I knew I had triumphed over this Maderchod jerk.
If Santa Claus gave me one of my wishes
This creep would be swimming with the New Jersey fishes!

I sprang on my way, to my pals gave a whistle,
That this mess is on them, like an old itchy thistle.
And he heard me exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to all, Tunnel Rat won the fight!”

- Vineet Nayar, CEO, HCL Technologies

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