South Africans in Kansas busted for work visa fraud

| Tuesday, June 28, 2005

And the hits just keep on coming.

A South African businessman was arrested along with his girlfriend and business partner in early June on work visa fraud.

This news comes after the The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency recently arrested 27 illegal aliens in Maryland, Illinois and Missouri who had valid licenses to transport hazardous materials, state commercial driver’s licenses or state driver’s licenses.

Unlike the rest, the South Africans allegedly schemed to bring workers to the U.S. using temporary H-2A work visas, but then sent them to work for employers other than those designated in the visa applications.

According to ICE, Petrus Botes and Joyce Coetzee ran PJ Services, a company in Bennington, KS, that provided foreign workers for agricultural and trucking operations in a seven-state region.

The two are accused of filing petitions for the visas without the consent of the employers; applying for more workers than were needed; forging workers’ signatures; falsifying job descriptions; lying about the nature of the businesses in question; and sending workers to employers not designated on the visa petitions.

The pair had already been convicted on visa fraud charges in Kansas in 2002 and recently received orders for deportation. If they are convicted on the most recent charges, they will serve any sentence given and then be deported.

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