LOS ANGELES - 07/10/2019 — Qui Tam Relator, Mr. Krawitt, has agreed to withdraw his appeal from the order dismissing his Northern District of California action captioned Carl Krawitt, et al v. Infosys Technologies Limited, Incorporated and Apple Incorporated.
The Court issued a revised order, at the request of the U.S. Government, which leaves the door open for the government to bring an action against Infosys and Apple in the future for the actions outlined in Relator Krawitt’s complaint. Mr. Krawitt believes that the case is in the proper hands of the Department of Justice and will continue to cooperate as a witness for all future investigations into these violations.
[See docs: Case 5:16-cv-04141-LHK Document 96 Filed 02/20/19; Document 102 Filed 03/12/19]
Qui Tam actions brought under False Claims Act are actions brought by an individual as “relator” to help the U.S. Government uncover and enforce its rights to collect money or protect it from companies who fraudulently withhold money. The government has the right to intervene in and pursue such suits, or to decline to intervene, in which case the relator may proceed with the action alone. Although the United States has declined to intervene in, and is therefore not a party, to Mr. Krawitt’s action, the United States remains the real party in interest.
The United States submitted a Statement of Interest to request that any dismissal of Mr. Krawitt’s claims be without prejudice to preserve its right to bring its own action related to the allegations in the Mr. Krawitt’s complaint. This has the effect of leaving the U.S. Department of Justice (and other agencies) with the opportunity to further investigate the allegations and to help create the case law that appears to have been missing and would have helped hold Infosys and Apple to account for some very egregious abuses of U.S. immigration law and policy.
Mr. Krawitt has been interviewed by investigators from the United States Departments of Justice, Dept. of Homeland Security, Govt. Accounting Office, Dept. of State, and the FBI. Despite the risk of retaliation, Mr. Krawitt also agreed to be a witness for a separate and wider investigation of Infosys’s visa handling procedures.
Mr. Krawitt decided to become a whistleblower because the conduct by his managers at Infosys was too blatant and shocking for him to remain silent. In 2013 Infosys agreed to pay a record $34 million to resolve similar allegations that the company abused a visa program intended for business travelers. A few months after the 2013 settlement, while they were publicly touting a zero-tolerance policy and promising to abide by increased compliance measures, Mr. Krawitt witnessed that Infosys was still violating the same laws and regulations in the same way with help from Apple.
The Court’s dismissal of Mr. Krawitt’s lawsuit may have inadvertently created a loophole for companies, encouraging them to bring more foreign workers to America using the uncapped B-1 visa. With no cap limiting the number of B-1 visas, companies like Infosys and Apple can now contract for certain labor to be done in America at the cost of offshore labor rates while ignoring their responsibilities to keep accurate internal records of these activities. Nevertheless, Mr. Krawitt has agreed to leave the necessary and important work of correcting this undesirable precedent in the hands of the Department of Justice, should they decide to do so.
Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP
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