- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 14, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A human resources manager for two information technology companies has admitted obstructing a federal investigation into a scheme to fraudulently obtain foreign worker visas.

Federal prosecutors say Hiral Patel pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy. The 34-year-old Jersey City resident faces up to five years in prison when she’s sentenced June 1.

Prosecutors say the two companies offered consultants to clients needing tech support. They recruited foreign nationals and sponsored them for a visa program that allows businesses in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers with specialized or technical expertise in a particular field.

Prosecutors say Patel’s conspirators falsely represented that the foreign workers had full-time positions and were paid an annual salary. They say the foreign workers were only paid when they were placed at a third-party client who contracted with the firms.

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