US recruiter of Filipino nurses faces visa fraud charges


A NEW YORK-BASED recruiter of Filipino nurses has been charged for filing fraudulent work visa applications.

The U.S. Attorney’s office charged Rena Beduya Avendula, 50, and her agency Professional Place & Recruitment Inc. in Woodside with five counts of visa fraud for submitting fake documents to qualify her recruits for H-1B work visas and bring them as immigrants into the country from October 2009 to February 2015.

Avendula brought in general registered nurses, who don’t qualify for H-1B visa, by portraying them as specialized nurses who would work in nursing homes at prevailing wage rates.

U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said Avendula deceived the government for personal profit.

The dozens of recruits she sponsored earned Avendula and her agency processing fees she charged from the nurses and payments from the nursing homes, according to the indictment.

Avendula faces a punishment of 10-year imprisonment for the visa fraud charges on top of the 10-year imprisonment for each illegal immigrant she sponsored.

rw/p: wjg