A former IT services executive was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for H-1B fraud; the US Department of Justice says rules revoking spouse work authorization not due until next spring.

Prison term. The former CEO of two Bellevue, Washington, information-technology firms was sentenced last week to 87 months in prison for mail fraud and tax crimes related to a multi-year visa-fraud scheme, US Attorney Brian T. Moran announced. Pradyumna Kumar Samal, 50, a citizen of India, was arrested in August 2018 when he arrived on an international flight at Sea-Tac Airport.

According to court records, two companies incorporated by Samal in 2010 and 2011, Divensi and Azimetry, engaged a so-called “bench-and-switch” scheme, to exploit foreign-national workers, compete unlawfully in the market, and defraud the US government.

The two companies provided IT workers to major corporate clients. Samal submitted, and directed his employees to submit, forged and false application materials to the US government, making it appear as if foreign-national employees named in the petitions had been earmarked for projects contracted to Samal’s companies by end clients. In fact, these project assignments were fictitious. The forged documents included forged letters and fraudulent statements of work, which appeared as if they had been signed by senior executives at Samal’s clients. After USCIS relied on the false representations and approved the applications, Samal’s companies “benched” the foreign nationals and forced them to submit phony sick and annual leave requests until they were placed at actual end clients.

H-1B spouses get reprieve. The Trump administration’s plan to ban spouses of H-1B visa holders from working in the US may not be implemented until next year, The Economic Times reports. offering temporary relief to thousands of Indian nationals as well as the technology companies employing them.

The DOJ said it has set a time frame of Spring 2020 to bring in rules to revoke the H-4 employment authorization granted in 2015 by the Obama administration.