Call came to my cell which is the number I put in 485 app.
She was reading some information from my Biographic form..like my first employment dates etc..so I just assumed it to be legit calll...but I never know until I get an email..so far nothing..
You/lawyer/employer may have forgotten to shred the extra/unwanted documents. Someone may have got hold of them.
Google 'identity theft' and you will be surprised.
Do not answer anyone unless you check. Ask for a call back number. Find the name , badge number. ask them to send you an email with a legit id and you will call back.
You should anyways never talk alone to such people even if they are real. Ask them to talk to your lawyer. If they ask you his number, tell them to find from the application.
Basically never give any information on the phone.
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Before blaming muslims try to understand the fact and know atleast a little history. When you have time just read this.
news article written by Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army.
Just my two cents. If you found this message useful, please join your respective state chapters, if you still have not.
Even a tiny ant understands grassroots level approach when it builds the mass by joining each other while looking for food. Meanwhile, we are not able to join hands to get our problems resolved. IV Core is willing to provide directions, but we need to trust each other and first join hands locally to make a nationwide dent.
I'm surprised nobody is even considering the other aspect i.e. the pleasure to live in your own house. We people are living in US in a small sized appt. while we bought houses in India, which is on rent. You will never know the pleasure of living in your own space...
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so your case is refered to NFDC , YOU might also get a interview call soon.
or the best thing get your GD
all the best
I am curious why you bold everything. on usenet, writing in caps and bold is conisdered shouting and rude. I know this is not usenet but somehow I see that in most of your posts and wanted to know why you do that.
i love bold words..nothing much
� A cat matures as it grows older.
� Back hair on cats is cute.
� When a cat sleeps all day it's natural, not annoying.
� Unlike a man, a cat can fend for itself.
� A cat is loyal.
� Cats actually think with their heads.
� "Meow" is never a lie.
� They'll both stand outside your door and whine, but the cat will stop when it gets in. :)
� It's more amusing to watch a cat try and deal with a piece of tape stuck on its paw than to watch a man do anything.
� To buy a fancy dinner for a cat only costs 35 cents.
� A cat's friend is less likely to be annoying.
� Cats can't show love without meaning it.
� Cats are always cute.
In the booming years of 99-00 you could see all these consulting companies having a ball. Personally I have seen people with no relevant skill set getting h1's approved in a totally unrelated job profile. I even have come across staffing companies who have hired recruiters as "business analyst's", now its highly unlikely that these companies could not find recruiters here. But the system was getting misused rampantly.
I have had experience with companies who with collusion of someone inside a company
"snagged" portion of revenue from a contract. It wasnt common for 3-4 companies to
act as middleman's ("layers") the final employee who actually worked getting literally
peanuts share of the contract amount. I think this still happens today from what I have heard from my friends.
USCIS had to respond in someway or the other. I am happy that they did but on the other hand I feel sorry for their employees who are probably innocent "collateral damage" victims
It makes me very uneasy as who knows what USCIS will come up with next. The longer our wait is there is a potential for more scrutiny and who knows what pitfall awaits us lurking somewhere where we least expect. Just because people misused the system we are all going to face the consequences.
When I first started to get to know consulatants and staffing companies; I thought that this whole bribe system; creating positions at end clients; how consultants got selected, etc., was a big racket.
However; when I did introspection of how things worked in my industry; I pretty much concluded that it was done in same way but at much, much higher levels.
USCIS is just keeping it pretty simple these days; show us that there is a job with an end client that requires a degree. They pretty much know that it is impossible. Even if you can get one; they pick on it pretty good and still deny it.
The system was actually designed for staffing companies when you think about it. When h-1b was first created; no one would have used it if it wasn't for staffing companies. Typical US companies wouldn't have the network to get foreign employees unless they were already here. To get them from a foreign country then the only companies who can really do so are the staffing companies.
The main reason that I can't get behind lifting of the country quota is exactly this reason. You have a lot of companies run by the same nationality who will only recruit their own people. The staffing companies don't advertise in Indonesia, Germany, Brazil, etc. They only go after their own people. The whole monopolization of visas was used to prevent this type of behaviour.
I always thought that there are people from around the world who want to come here but can't because they are not part of the "system". You can see this in the greencard lottery. Almost 9 million people apploy to get here through this. If they had their own country people looking to get them here then there would be a more equal distribution of visas.
I think people need to step back and think that this is one of the reasons why they have country quotas. No matter what people think that they re being hired for their skills and that employers don't care about their nationality; people need to understand that a "system" has been designed that is benefitting a few nationalities. Once you can get here then you can find your way. However, if you can't get here then you can't find your way.
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Back in 2002 and 2003 when USCIS hardly approved any EB greencards; people were pretty emotional on immigration.com.
Rajiv Khanna did a class action lawsuit against USCIS to start approving cases. He wanted some plaintiffs. Now; people on immigration.com were so emotional about their approvals and cursing USCIS all over the place. Of the thousands of people who would post; there was only something like 13 people who actually signed up to be plaintiffs. I volunteered myself to be a plaintiff but my case had only been pending for about six months at that time so I didn't think I would be a good candidate. However; only 13 people signed up compared to the thousands who were bellyaching about it. I didn't understand at that time why there was so little people who were willing to step u.
In 2007 AILF specifically wanted people to join the lawsuit but were very clear that they wanted "clean" cases. I thought it odd that they had to specifically mention this.
Murthy didn't want to file lawsuit because they thought it would have negative repurcussions against their existing clients in future cases.
USCIS is pretty much the toughest agency to deal with and people who deal with them regularly know this. Time is on their side. They can deny cases and it takes years to get through the system and people have to have a legal way to stay in the country while this goes on. Because of this hardly anybody challenges them.
I concluded that not many people have clean cases. Many people faked things on their f-1 applications; had bench time; worked in different locations then where h-1b was approved for, etc., etc.
If you look at the different positions people take on these immigration boards; it is usually based on their own situation or people they know of and that leads them to post in a certain way.
eb3 versus eb2
permanent jobs versus consulting
country quota, etc.
The lawyers are the ones who see thousands of cases and what USCIS does and generally do not want to challenge them because it will spell bigger problems.
btw; I am still a little suspicious of the OP. Local offices mainly do family base cases and not employment base cases. Their requests for information are pretty standard and follow the lines of family base information. They do not regularly do employment base interviews. If what the OP is saying is true then this would be a directive coming from headquarters. If that is the case then asking for "contracts" is going to be very problematic as they are going after the temporary versus permanent job.
Texas service center has been known to call candidates/companies but it is usually for very simple information (ie., company tax return, asking verbally whether person is still in same job or verifying current address). They don't call and ask verbally for complex information like OP has stated.
In fact just about every local USCIS office makes you sign a statement that you are not being represented by a lawyer and they "swear" you in that you are going to tell the truth under penalty of perjury.
UN - why do you think USCIS allows
(1) File for h1b from consulting company - when they think there is an issue
(2) Allow labor substitution - when they think it is not good
(3) Allow eb3 to eb2 porting - when they think it is not good
the list can go on
Why do you think people who are following law - not liked by USCIS?
I am not blaming USCIS or not poking at them or your interpretation.
I personally see that if you are not properly represented either by company or my a good Attorney - you are bound to have issues.
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What do you about how I came to the country!? I came here to take a full-time job with an American employer. I get paid above minimum wage and had a solid offer for the job BEFORE the company submitted the H-1B application.
I do realize a lot of people will be out of a 'job' (or off the bench, depending on how you look at it) with the elimination of body shopping. But guess what -- they shouldn't even be here in the first place if they don't have full-time jobs. As said before, they clog up an otherwise great visa program.
I'll give you the reason they are concerned --- the visas for the coming fiscal year emptied out IN ONE DAY, obviously indicating the H-1B program is infected with abuse beyond anyone's expectations. They are out to put and end to that charade.
I don't know what the deal is with India, but apparently more than 40% of all H-1B applications come from India based companies, for 'employees' from India. For this reason congress recently got in contact with the biggest of these companies for an explanation. Hopefully these actions will pave the way for more legit visas for the rest of us. Now don't get me wrong -- I have absolutely nothing against people from India. In fact I have really good impressions with people from India in general. But I (and congress) expect them to obey the law like everybody else.
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Why Osama bin Laden's death is making Chinese leaders nervous. (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/06/china_s_america_obsession)
By JOHN LEE | Foreign Policy
In Thursday's edition of China's Communist Party-owned Global Times newspaper, the lead editorial was headlined, "After Bin Laden, will China become US's foe?" Hoping that economic integration would defuse "right-wing paranoia" about China in the United States, the editorial nevertheless concluded: "The rise of China is certain to cause friction" in America. On Friday, the paper led with an editorial that referenced an interview I had given the Global Times in late April to admit that "China could be the loneliest rising power in world history."
Of course, editorials in state-owned newspapers do not always mirror the Communist Party's thinking or policies. But in this case, these two editorials remind us of two related points about Beijing's worldview. First, China respects and even fears the United States more than the vast majority of Americans probably realize. And second, China's sense of isolation is not an act but acute and real -- and Osama bin Laden's death will only accelerate America's reengagement with its Asian allies and partners at China's expense.
When Washington shifted its focus toward terrorism and the Middle East after the September 11 attacks in 2001, Beijing experienced genuine relief. As China's leaders and strategists came to believe, an America distracted by two wars and a weak economy presented a priceless window of opportunity for China to extend its influence in Asia and beyond. But Beijing realizes that Washington's strategic attention will eventually turn eastwards, and the death of bin Laden is one small but significant step in hastening the arrival of that day. As one prominent Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) analyst put it to me recently, the American "spearhead will soon be pointed at Beijing."
China's focus on America is obsessive and omnipresent among its leaders and strategists. In a study of 100 recent articles by leading academics at CASS, comprising the network of official state-backed think-tanks and institutes throughout the country, I found that about four in every five were about the United States -- whether it was seeking to understand the American system and political values, or describing how to limit, circumvent, bind, or otherwise reduce American power and influence. Of these themes, several emerged that help better understand the thinking behind editorials like the one in the Global Times.
One is that Beijing views international politics in broadly neorealist terms. Chinese strategists believe the distribution of power in the world today will determine tomorrow's conflicts. China has long seen building competition between itself and America in particular as the inevitable and defining big-picture strategic play. In Beijing's thinking, tension can be managed, but never resolved, between the established power and the emerging one. Tension is a structural inevitability.
But Chinese experts also view America as a unique superpower that relentlessly seeks not only to build and maintain its power, but also to spread its democratic values. This is of grave concern to the authoritarian Chinese leaders, because they believe that America will have difficulty accepting a greater leadership role for Beijing so long as Communist Party remains exclusively in power. Senator John McCain's "League of Democracies" might never become a formal reality, but Beijing believes that it already exists, at least in Asia, through democracies such as India, Japan, and South Korea.
Moreover, Beijing fears the American democratic process. While Americans view democracy as an advantage since it can offer United States an institutional and bloodless process for leadership and policy renewal, China views American democracy as a source of irrationality and unpredictability. Many in Beijing, pointing to President George W. Bush's rapid decisions to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11, believe a new administration might actually increase the chances of uncomfortable shifts in policy that will lead Washington to suddenly focus its competitive and hostile gaze to the east.
Some of Beijing's strategists now even argue that the United States has three advantages over China that will help preserve American strategic primacy in Asia.
First, the United States has built an order based not just on American power but also democratic community. It has not escaped Beijing that few countries in East and Southeast Asia fear India's democratic rise. Whereas India's ascent is seen as natural, predictable, and welcomed, almost every country in Asia is trying to benefit from China's economic success while strategically hedging against Chinese military power by moving even closer to the United States. (Witness the recent speech by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Congress in which she reaffirmed the alliance with America as the bedrock of Canberra's security strategy, or Singapore's leader Lee Hsien Loong urging America to remain engaged in Asia.)
Second, unlike China, America does not have land and territorial disputes with other Asian states. For example, China still claims around 80 percent of the South China Sea as its "historic waters" and is in an ongoing dispute with India over the eastern-most Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. In this sense, China's rise is inherently disruptive since a more powerful China is likely to demand a resolution to these issues that is in Beijing's favor.
Third, the United States is not a resident power in that it is not geographically in Asia. China now realizes that this simple fact, once seen as a handicap, instead presents America with a unique advantage. To maintain its military bases in the region and thus remain the pre-eminent strategic power in Asia, the United States requires other key states and regional groupings to acquiesce to its security role and relationships. There is broad-based regional approval of U.S. alliances with Australia, Japan, and South Korea, as well as with partners such as India, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. This interdependent relationship means that America is not so powerful that it can easily ignore the wishes of Asian states.
In contrast, if China were in the dominant strategic position, its pre-eminence would be much harder to challenge or shift. Beijing would not need the same level of regional acquiescence. As a resident power, China would not need the "approval" of other Asian states to maintain its military footholds. As the largest Asian power, it would be easier to dominate regional institutions without an American presence -- yet one more reason why America is trusted to provide the public and security goods in Asian sea lanes while China is not.
All this is why, instead of taking full advantage of America's terrorism obsession, Beijing has watched resentfully as the United States has built a hierarchical democratic order in which Asian states willingly aid in preserving American pre-eminence. In such an order, China remains a strategic loner in Asia, with Myanmar and North Korea as its only true friends.
China is well aware of its relative vulnerabilities. Rather than lament the irretrievable loss of its better days, America should learn to better appreciate its relative strengths.
John Lee is research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney and the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He is author of Will China Fail?
U.S.-China Talks: What to Look for (http://www.cfr.org/china/us-china-talks-look/p24923) By Elizabeth C. Economy | Council on Foreign Relations
Security and U.S.-Sino Scientific Collaboration (http://blogs.cfr.org/asia/2011/05/02/security-and-us-sino-scientific-collaboration/) By Adam Segal | Council on Foreign Relations
US, China vie for influence among Indonesian riches (http://atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/ME06Ae02.html) By Sara Schonhardt | Asia Times
As China Invests, U.S. Could Lose (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/business/global/04yuan.html) By DAVID BARBOZA | New York Times
China Invests Overseas (http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3171&Itemid=422) Asia Sentinel
Is the Asian century a dream or reality? (http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/05/06/is-asian-century-a-dream-or-reality.html) By Haruhiko Kuroda | Jakarta Post
A Future Scenario for Asia (http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3177&Itemid=422) By Philip Bowring | Asia Sentinel
Japan, After March 11
The country, resilient as ever, remains Asia’s true power. (http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_2_japan.html)
By Guy Sorman | City Journal
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�I really don�t have a strong partisan style. I just like getting things done,� said Hellmann.
Under his helm, the lobbying team at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) has earned a reputation as a smart and aggressive advocate on Capitol Hill for the high-tech cause.
Hellmann, 46, joined ITI in 2001 after several years advising House Republican leaders, including then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). But politics was not always foremost on the Florida native�s mind. He describes himself as a former �beach bum� who did not vote in the 1980 presidential election because he could not choose between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.
�Now I know better,� Hellmann said.
By college, Hellmann�s interest in Washington had begun to simmer. He majored in political science and says he typically flipped to C-SPAN instead of MTV. In 1984, he took a job as a paid intern to then-Rep. Buddy MacKay (D-Fla.).
Hellmann soon after switched sides and began to move up the ranks. He worked for several prominent GOP lawmakers, such as Rep. Newt Gingrich (Ga.), before becoming a key adviser to party leadership. There, Hellmann helped to push through welfare reform, anti-poverty legislation and the No Child Left Behind Act.
The lobbyist always strived for results in Congress and saw the need for both parties to work together. Hellmann put that philosophy into practice as the liaison between then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and the coalition of Blue Dog Democrats.
�He knows substance, but even more importantly, he knows the institutional quirks and the process as well as anybody in town,� said Rep. Adam Putman (Fla.), the House Republican Conference chairman. Putnam credits Hellmann with educating members on �how the technology sector is a driver of the economy.�
As ITI�s senior vice president of government relations, Hellmann says it is not difficult to lobby for his trade group�s members � corporations like Dell and eBay � since they are �the coolest companies in the world.�
�We call it the �wow� effect,� said Hellmann. But gone are the days when high-powered executives for tech companies could fly into Washington once a year, meet with lawmakers and expect to achieve what they wanted on Capitol Hill, according to the lobbyist. Now, a daily, active presence is necessary to keep check on Congress, which can affect the industry on multiple fronts.
Increasingly, other well-heeled business lobbies with decades of experience in Washington are weighing in against tech companies� interests. �We have to match them in shoe leather,� said Hellmann.
Adam Kovacevich, Google�s Washington spokesman, described Hellmann as an excellent advocate for the tech cause � a �good consensus-builder� who has �a great understanding of what is actually possible on the Hill.�
�He has never stopped building relationships with new generations of staff,� said Kovacevich, who worked at ITI in 2005.
To maintain ITI�s lobbying prowess, the trade group executive has helped assemble a team of �type-A personalities� who can work with both parties and understand how Congress works. Each lobbyist has between five and 10 years of government service, Hellmann estimated.
�With Rahm, we moved a million miles a minute and we got things done. I felt ITI worked the same way,� said Jon Hoganson, who recently joined ITI from House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emmanuel�s (Ill.) office. �It wasn�t about white papers and setting up meetings.�
Hellmann credits ITI�s quick action with helping to convince Congress to set a date for the country to move from analog to digital television. The trade group and its member companies formed the DTV Coalition, and stressed in Hill meetings that the sale of spectrum bandwidth could generate $10 billion in federal revenue, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.
More recently, ITI has waded into the emotional battle over immigration. Hellmann�s German-born parents came to America in 1956 on his father�s employment visa, so the debate has special resonance for the lobbyist.
�There is a strong nativist element in Washington right now,� said Hellmann. Republicans have weighed in against immigration reform.
Democrats, meanwhile, have railed against trade deals, another ITI priority.
With so much on the trade group�s plate, Hellmann plans to keep ITI up to date on Washington�s happenings and sees no need to slow down.
�Politics is a fast-moving sport,� Hellmann said.
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This is an excerpt from the above article.
"Illegal aliens are more important to this Congress than securing our borders and our ports, more important than those legal immigrants who have waited in line and who follow the law. The Senate has added to the litany of lunacy that makes up what it calls reform: Illegal aliens would only have to pay back taxes on three of the past five years, they will not be prosecuted for felonies such as identity theft or purchasing or using fraudulent Social Security cards, and unlike millions of visa holders who have to leave the country to have them renewed, they may simply remain in the United States while this Congress and this president give away all the benefits and privileges of American citizenship."
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Singling someone out due to his/her "national origin" should be something we backlogged EB2/3 I folks should understand more than others. And yet if someone from Pakistan gets a green card - we gang up on him and are outraged that someone from a terrorist country got it before us!!!! Does that mean we would be ok as long as he got it after us?
I got plenty of red dots after my mere mention of the stupidity of ganging up on the fella... red dots are ok... it was the messages that came along with that were offensive - traitor , paki pork, etc - I just deleted my posts after that and stopped commenting on that particular thread.
There is nothing wrong with discussing the history of India and Pakistan, nothing woring in discussing organized vs. unorganized religion, nothing wrong with pointing out the the flaws in Islam or any other religion - The problem is that such discussions always end up with insults hurled at each other. While we may start with the noble intention of having a civil discussion about these issues - every thread like this ends up with offensive remarks that drives people away. The simple question then becomes - is it worth it? Is this the place to do it? Would such a thread be allowed to continue on Ron Gotcher's website? I hope the moderators of this site realize that inaction on their part seems like they condone this type of behavior.
All the red dots coming my way are more than welcome... just a small request about the insults .... please be brave enough to post them publicy!
So let us now go back to solving all the controversial theological, anthropological and geopolitical issues. Let us continue to demand for fairness and an immigration system blind to our country of birth - but make sure we point out other people's national origin... no wonder the most anti-immigration people are generally the most recent immigrants.
What a tiresome thread!!!
Several years ago, people actually made an effort to make IV an organization representing all skilled workers, from all parts of the world. Now, immigration matters are totally irrelevant on the forums. Heck, forget about being an exclusively India focused forum, as this thread demonstrates, it is a venue to vent on matters even more narrowly focused - My religion, my sect, my opinion, my petty prejudices. If this is not irrelevant enough, we have enough threads on red dot-green dots to justify a whole separate category of forums :rolleyes:
Anyway, it does a pretty good job of turning off people. I guarantee you this thread alone has contributed significantly in influencing many planning on attending the March rally to change their mind. It sure did mine.
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Looks like this thread is taking a different turn..
to set the records..I was never been on bench, always paid, and never out of status..
Also, I have sent all the docs to them
and I dont think they are looking into case suspecting something..mine was a random pick transferred to NBC.. last year.
And My case was almost approved last Aug2008..during the interview..but visa numbers were exhausted already for the fiscal year (remember.DOS bulleting said visa #s are there but in reality they were long gone..they only gave statement so in the Mid sep2008)..
so..I think since it was lying there laying eggs, a different officer started looking into it all over it again..apparently, I assume earlier officer didnt put any note on it
That seems right. The officer looking into your case might have changed and could not have immediate access to your case information and that's why he/she is asking everything from you and your employer.
If this was the trend - then we would see a lot of people getting such queries.
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To pull off a fraud that humiliates the cream of the global financial elite, you need to have some friends. And where better to have them than at the local bank?
The fraud at Longtop Financial Technologies, a Chinese financial software company, was exposed this week in an amazing letter from its auditors, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. It appears to be a tale of corrupt bankers and their threats to auditors who had learned of the lies.
Deloitte, which had given clean audit opinions to Longtop for six consecutive years, apparently was well on its way to providing a seventh, for the fiscal year that ended March 31. But for some reason � Deloitte did not say why �the auditor went back to Longtop�s banks last week to again seek confirmation of cash balances.
It appears Deloitte sought confirmations from bank headquarters, rather than the local branches that had previously verified that Longtop�s cash really was on deposit. And that set off panic at the software firm.
�Within hours� of beginning the new round of confirmations on May 17, the confirmation process was stopped, Deloitte stated in its letter of resignation, the result of �intervention by the company�s officials including the chief operating officer, the confirmation process was stopped.�
The company told banks that Deloitte was not really the auditor. It seized documents, Deloitte wrote, and made �threats to stop our staff leaving the company premises unless they allowed the company to retain our audit files.�
Despite the company�s efforts, Deloitte learned Longtop did not have the cash it claimed and that there were �significant bank borrowings� not reflected in the company�s books.
A few days later, Deloitte said, Longtop�s chairman, Jia Xiao Gong, told a Deloitte partner that there was �fake cash recorded on the books� because there had been �fake revenue in the past.�
The stock has not traded since that confrontation. The final trade on the New York Stock Exchange was for $18.93, a price that valued the company at $1.1 billion. At its peak in November, it had a market capitalization of $2.4 billion.
It now seems likely that the stock is worthless. It is a real company, but its revenue and profits probably were a small fraction of the amounts reported. The existence of the �significant� debt means that whatever assets are left are likely to be owned by the banks, not the investors.
Deloitte may have decided to check the numbers again because it knew a growing group of bears on the stock had been challenging the Longtop story as too good to be true, questioning both its financial statements and the claims it made for its software. A month earlier, Deloitte resigned as the auditor of another Chinese company, China MediaExpress, in part because of questions about bank confirmations.
It is never good for an auditor to have certified a fraud, but Deloitte seems to have acted properly. It got bank confirmations, and it got them directly from the banks rather than relying on the company to provide them, as PricewaterhouseCoopers had done when it failed to notice a huge fraud at Satyam, an Indian technology company.
But the confirmations were lies.
�This means the Chinese banks were in on the fraud, at least at branch level,� says John Hempton, the chief investment officer of Bronte Capital, an Australian hedge fund. He was one of the bears who questioned Longtop�s claims and now stands to profit from the stock�s collapse.
�This is no longer a story about Longtop, and it is not a story about Deloitte,� he added. �Given the centrality of Chinese banks to the global economy, it�s a story much bigger than Deloitte or Longtop.�
The Securities and Exchange Commission has started an investigation, and no doubt more details will emerge, including the names of the banks involved. Just what, if anything, Chinese officials choose to do could provide an indication about whether defrauding foreign investors is deemed to be a serious crime in China.
Fraud in Chinese stocks is not new. But it had seemed that the worst problems were in small companies without Wall Street pedigrees. Many of the fraudulent companies went public in the United States by the reverse-merger shell route, a course long favored by shady stock promoters. That route allowed companies to start trading without going though a formal underwriting process or having its prospectus reviewed by the S.E.C. And many used tiny audit firms based in the United States that seemingly did little if any work.
What is stunning about Longtop and some other recent disasters is the list of smart people who were fooled.
Longtop did not go public through a reverse merger. Its initial public offering, in 2007, was underwritten by Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Morgan Stanley was a lead manager in a 2009 offering of more shares. Major owners of the stock included hedge funds run by people known as �tiger cubs� because they got their start at Julian Robertson�s Tiger Fund.
On May 4, only a couple of weeks before the fateful struggle at Longtop offices, an analyst for Morgan Stanley, Carol Wang, wrote:
�Longtop�s stock price has been very volatile in recent days amid fraud allegations that management has denied. Our analysis of margins and cash flow gives us confidence in its accounting methods. We believe market misconceptions provide a good entry point for long-term investors.�
By then, Longtop officials had begun to scramble. According to its last audited balance sheet, cash accounted for more than half of Longtop�s $606 million in assets. Bears were asking why the company needed all that cash and were questioning whether it existed.
In mid-March, just after the fraud at China MediaExpress was exposed, Longtop announced plans to put some of the cash to use by spending up to $50 million to repurchase its own shares. On April 28, the company tried to assure analysts that the fraud claims were bogus. Derek Palaschuk, a Canadian accountant who served as the company�s chief financial officer, wrapped himself in Deloitte�s prestige, saying that those who questioned Longtop were �criticizing the integrity of one of the top accounting firms in the world.�
�For me,� he said, �the most important relations I have other than with my family, my C.E.O., and then the next on the list is Deloitte as our auditor, because their trust and support is extremely important.�
Mr. Palaschuk had an explanation for why the company had not repurchased any shares. It had some very good news that it had not yet released, and �we were advised by our securities counsel that we should not be in the market purchasing our own shares in the event that this would be considered insider trading.�
Longtop is not the only Chinese fraud that caught prominent Americans. Starr International, an investment company run by Hank Greenberg, the former chairman of American International Group, invested $43.5 million in China MediaExpress and had a representative on the company�s board. Starr has filed suit in Delaware against the company and Deloitte.
Goldman Sachs was not the underwriter of ShengdaTech, a Chinese chemical company traded on Nasdaq, but its investment arm, Goldman Sachs Investment Management, had accumulated a 7.6 percent stake in the company before its auditor, KPMG, refused to sign off on the company�s 2010 annual report and then resigned in late April. KPMG cited �serious discrepancies� regarding bank balances and �discrepancies between KPMG�s direct calls to customers and confirmations returned by mail.� Just as at Longtop, it appeared that auditors had been given false confirmation letters.
In each of those three cases � Longtop, China MediaExpress and ShengdaTech � the auditors discovered discrepancies, but only after signing off on financial statements. That was not the case in this year�s other � and perhaps most embarrassing � resignation by a Big Four auditing firm.
I wish we get some clarity in this aspect. In the economic downturn, I wish to work more than I ever did and see that US comes out of recession fast. But for that I have to be inside the country first. I have to be given a fair chance to contribute to this economy first and I need to be treated with respect and honor.