Richard Blum

Richard Blum

CHAIRMAN

Richard C. Blum is the Founder and Chairman of Richard C. Blum & Associates, Inc., the general partner of Blum Capital Partners, L.P., a long-term strategic equity investment management firm which acts as general partner for various investment partnerships and provides investment advisory services.  He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of PAG.  He is also Co-Founder of Newbridge Capital (now part of TPG Capital).  In the past, Mr. Blum has served on the Boards of many prominent companies, including CBRE Group, Inc., Fairmont Raffles Holdings International Limited, Northwest Airlines Corporation, Myer Pty. Ltd. in Australia, Glenborough Realty Trust, Inc., Korea First Bank, URS Corporation, and National Educational Corporation.
Mr. Blum is former Chairman of the University of California Board of Regents, where he continues to serve as a Regent.  He is former Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.  He was appointed by President Obama to be a member of the President’s Global Development Council.  Mr. Blum founded the American Himalayan Foundation and Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Berkeley.  He is the Honorary Consul of Nepal. Additionally, Mr. Blum serves on the board of trustees of the following non-profit organizations: The Asian Art Museum Foundation, The Carter Center, Central European University, Glide Foundation, The National Democratic Institute, The Simon Wiesenthal Center Inc., and The Wilderness Society.  He is an Honorary Trustee for the Brookings Institution and is also a founding member of the Council of Advisors to National Geographic International.
Prior to founding Blum Capital, Mr. Blum was with Sutro & Co. for 17 years, holding various positions including director, major stockholder, and member of the Executive Committee.  He earned both his B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2006 he received an honorary doctoral degree from the University of San Francisco’s McLaren College of Business. Most recently, he was awarded the Haas School of Business’ Lifetime Achievement Award.
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How energy giant tried to cut a deal / Duke Inc. offered to reduce bill if state halted probes

How energy giant tried to cut a deal / Duke Inc. offered to reduce bill if state halted probes


Published 4:00 am, Thursday, May 3, 2001

A major electricity generator sought to end state investigations and lawsuits into price gouging last month, offering in exchange to take less money than it was owed, according to documents made public yesterday.Duke Energy Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., offered in April to stop imposing premiums on electricity prices and said it would accept less than the full amount it was owed for power sales. But in exchange, the state would have to drop all investigations and curtail litigation surrounding the pricing of electricity.
The proposal, which the company made public yesterday, also sought to restrict the governor's comments on the crisis and bar him from blaming the state's energy problems on an unregulated energy system."Governor will continue to indicate that the California crisis is an aberration due to flawed legislation of Gov. Wilson, not a necessary consequence of deregulation, and will not advocate scrapping deregulation in wholesale power markets," the proposal said.
Officials said yesterday that the request never made its way to Davis himself. Instead it was passed on to the office of California Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
"(Duke) called us, and we referred it to the AG," said Steve Maviglio, a spokesman for Davis. "They came to us. We had a couple of meetings. There was no negotiation about any of the points. We don't have the power to call off any of the investigations, nor would the governor under any condition do that. This is their wish list."
A Lockyer spokeswoman, Sandra Michioku, would only say that the attorney general's investigation into power generators is continuing.
Federal energy regulators have ordered Duke to return $20 million in what it described as overcharges in the California power market in January and February.
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KKR:Deatrice to Be Acquired by Kohlberg : $6-Billion Leveraged Buy-Out Accord Is Biggest in History

Beatrice to Be Acquired by Kohlberg : $6-Billion Leveraged Buy-Out Accord Is Biggest in History


November 15, 1985|NANCY YOSHIHARA | Times Staff Writer
Beatrice Cos. agreed on Thursday to be acquired by the investment firm of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in a deal valued at $6 billion--the largest leveraged buy-out in history.
The Chicago-based food and consumer products company entered a definitive agreement after New York-based KKR sweetened its offer, raising it to $50 a share--$43 in cash and $7 in preferred stock--from its previous offer of $47 a share in cash and securities.
The offer, based on Beatrice's 109 million shares outstanding, is worth $5.45 billion. However, if KKR purchased all outstanding Beatrice preferred stock, warrants and options--the equivalent of 11 million shares--it would push the price up to $6 billion.
The deal included so-called lock-up options designed to discourage competing offers for the company. The options give the investment firm the right to buy the "crown jewels" of Beatrice's diverse operations in case the deal is not consummated.
No Suitor Expected
Analysts doubted, however, that after so long a time another bidder would surface to jeopardize the buy-out.
"The chances are very good that this deal will go through," said Marvin B. Roffman, an analyst with Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia. "Shareholders will be happy with the price . . . and management also has put its kiss of approval on it."
William W. Granger Jr., chairman and chief executive of Beatrice, said in a statement: "I believe this is an excellent transaction for our shareholders. At the same time, we are mindful of KKR's intentions to keep Beatrice as a major and growing enterprise headquartered in Chicago."
Beatrice's current management, however, will be changed. Henry Kravis, managing partner of KKR, told the Associated Press in a telephone interview that Donald P. Kelly, former chairman of Esmark (which was acquired by Beatrice last year), would be named chairman and chief executive.
Kelly, in his first public statement since being identified with the KKR group, told AP that he intended to keep Beatrice in its present form. He also said his management team would include three former Esmark managers: Frederick B. Rentschler, who will run the general food and beverage divisions; Joel Smilow, head of general non-food operations, and Roger T. Briggs, in charge of finances.
Beatrice observers, however, believe the new KKR company that will own Beatrice will begin selling off such major non-food businesses as Playtex to help reduce its high debt level.
Since Beatrice acquired Esmark for $2.7 billion in August, 1984, it has been shedding some of its less profitable non-food operations. In early October, it disclosed plans to put four more on the block, including it Avis and Danskin units.
The leveraged buy-out, in which investors purchase a company by borrowing heavily against the target company's assets as collateral, adds yet another layer of debt to the company's structure.
Observers have believed it was unlikely that Beatrice could remain independent once takeover rumors began inflating its stock. KKR first made a $45-a-share offer in mid-October that Beatrice's board rejected as "inadequate." Since July, Beatrice's stock has risen about 50%, and KKR's initial offer, although spurned, put pressure on Beatrice management to obtain a more attractive alternative.
Beatrice stock closed Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange at $46.25 a share, up 75 cents, and was the most active issue with a volume of 3.9 million shares.
KKR's lock-up options would allow it, under certain conditions, to purchase either Beatrice's grocery group and Tropicana subsidiary for $2.391 billion or Beatrice's Tropicana, meat, soft-drink and bottled water subsidiaries for $2.412 billion.
These businesses, which are considered among Beatrice's most desirable, include Hunt-Wesson Foods, Swift meats, Tropicana fruit juices, La Choy Chinese foods, Coca-Cola bottlers and Arrowhead bottled water.
The lock-up options, however, are clouded by the Delaware Supreme Court's recent ruling against Revlon's use of a similar defensive tactic to thwart a takeover by Pantry Pride.
Revlon had granted the investment firm of Forstmann, Little & Co. an option to buy two major Revlon divisions if an unwelcome suitor acquired 40% of Revlon's stock. The option, which Pantry Pride challenged, was designed to protect Forstmann's agreement to acquire all of Revlon's stock. After the court ruling, Revlon succumbed to the Pantry Pride takeover.
But analysts said KKR isn't likely to have competition for Beatrice, which has had only one other nibble, that from Dart Group Corp. of Landover, Md.

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Law Firms: Bingham McCutchen





Bingham McCutchen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Bingham McCutchen LLP)
Bingham McCutchen LLP
Bingham logo.png
HeadquartersOne Federal Street
Boston, Massachusetts
No. of offices14
No. of attorneysapproximately 700
No. of employeesapproximately 1,600
Major practice areasFinancial restructuring, securities, litigation, antitrust, private equity, corporate finance, government affairs
Key peopleJay S. Zimmerman (Chairman)[1]
Date founded1891[2]
Company typeLimited Liability Partnership
SloganLegal insight. Business instinct.
Dissolved2014
WebsiteBingham.com
Bingham McCutchen LLP was a global law firm with approximately 850 attorneys in nine US offices and five international offices.[3] It ceased operations in late 2014, when several hundred of its partners and associate lawyers left the firm to join Philadelphia based Morgan Lewis.[4]

History[edit]

Bingham, Dana & Gould was founded in Boston in 1891.[5]
From 1997, the company experienced sharp growth in the number of attorneys, offices, and revenues by absorbing other law firms.[2][6] In 1997, Bingham Dana acquired the 30-lawyer Japanese practice group of Marks & Murase, giving the firm offices in New York and Los Angeles and a strong base of Japanese institutional clients.[7] The next outpost was established in Hartford through a merger with 55-lawyer Hebb & Gitlin, a firm that concentrated on international bankruptcy work. In 2001, Bingham Dana bulked up in New York City through a merger with Richards & O'Neill, a boutique law firm of 55 attorneys known for its litigation and corporate groups. The next year, in 2002, Bingham Dana merged with San Francisco-based law firm McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen to form 800-lawyer strong Bingham McCutchen. McCutchen Doyle brought five offices and a strong litigation and intellectual property focus. In 2003, the firm expanded in Southern California by merging with corporate boutique Riordan & McKinzie. More recently, 2006 saw a merger between Bingham McCutchen and Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, a Washington, D.C.-based firm which brought greater capabilities in the nation's capital as well as a strong regulatory group. Bingham also launched in Hong Kong that same year. In 2007, the firm acquired Los Angeles litigation shop Alschuler Grossman. In July 2009, Bingham McCutchen acquired McKee Nelson, a midsize law firm specializing in tax law and structured finance.[8]
A team of Bingham attorneys and staff, led by Susan Baker Manning and Sabin Willett, represented pro bono a dozen Uighur men held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[9][10][11][12][13] Bingham filed and extensively litigated numerous habeas corpus cases on behalf of their Uighur clients, as well as cases under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 that brought to light serious evidentiary and procedural flaws in the 2004-05 Combatant Status Review Tribunals that were used to justify the Uighurs' ongoing imprisonment. All Bingham clients were subsequently released.
The Tokyo office of Bingham McCutchen became one of the largest law firms in Japan by its 2007 merger with a domestic law firm headed by Hideyuki Sakai, a top insolvency specialist. Unlike most foreign firms in Japan which have minimal domestic practices, Bingham's Tokyo office was predominantly staffed by Japanese attorneys and handled domestic matters such as the restructuring of Olympus Corporation, although it hired a number of foreign attorneys since 2012 in an attempt to strengthen its outbound and cross-border practice and to expand in other legal fields such as intellectual property and investment funds.[14]
Despite a deep recession which hurt law firms nationwide, the Boston Globe reported that Bingham performed very well financially.[15] In 2009, Bingham's gross revenues increased 12% and profits per partner increased 2%. Chairman Jay Zimmerman was quoted as saying "We’ve had our best year ever." However, despite an increase in revenues, Bingham froze salaries, and in March 2009 laid off 16 attorneys and 29 support staff.[16]

Collapse[edit]

Bingham experienced internal tensions following the 2002 McCutchen merger, and again following the 2009 McKee merger. Both transactions were viewed as "mergers of equals" among some insiders, and as unequal acquisitions among others. The McKee transaction involved large compensation guarantees to several key McKee partners which were not immediately disclosed to other Bingham partners. The legacy McKee partners continued to earn relatively high compensation following the acquisition due to the fact that they charged higher hourly rates than the legacy Bingham partners; the legacy Bingham partners nonetheless demanded salary matching, which strained the profits of the firm.[17]
Bingham experienced a massive downsizing from 2012 to 2014, during which time it cut 225 lawyers and saw more than fifty partners leave the firm. Two major cases—the Deepwater Horizon litigation and an IP dispute involving Oracle Corporation—ended abruptly, reducing the firm's revenue.[5] Bingham attempted to cut costs by moving back office functions to a new center in Kentucky, but the initial cost of the move ($100,000 per equity partner) hurt the firm's 2014 financial results even further.[18] After Bingham's collapse, it was revealed that Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance stopped working with Bingham due to the low level of racial diversity among its partners in Boston and Hartford.[19]
In November 2014, 227 of around 300 partners and a similar number of associates joined the Philadelphia-based firm of Morgan Lewis & Bockius.[20] Morgan Lewis paid off Bingham's debt as part of the deal,[21] and shut down Bingham's Kentucky operations center, relocating some employees to Philadelphia.[18]
Bingham's London and Frankfurt offices joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.[22] 50 of Bingham's 60 lawyers in Tokyo moved to the Japanese law firm of Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, with the remainder joining Morgan Lewis.[23]

Offices[edit]

As of 2014, Bingham McCutchen had offices in BeijingBostonHartfordHong KongLexingtonLondonLos AngelesNew YorkOrange CountySan FranciscoSanta Monica, CaliforniaSilicon ValleyTokyo, and Washington, D.C.[3] It also offered consulting services through subsidiaries Bingham Consulting and Bingham Strategic Advisors.[2]

Notable people[edit]

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PG&E High Performance Engineer Hugh Smith and the phoney World Class Ethics Program



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Kinder Morgan’s SFPP system consists



Products Pipelines - SFPP

Kinder Morgan’s SFPP system consists of the North Line, which consists of approximately 864 miles of trunk pipeline in five segments that transport products from Richmond and Concord, Calif., to Brisbane, Sacramento, Chico, Fresno, Stockton and San Jose, Calif., and Reno, Nevada. The products delivered through the North Line come from refineries in the San Francisco Bay Area and from various pipeline and marine terminals. SFPP also includes the San Diego Line, a 135-mile pipeline serving major population areas in Orange County and San Diego, the Oregon Line, which is a 114-mile pipeline transporting products to Eugene, Oregon for shippers from marine terminals in Portland, Oregon, the West Line which is approximately 515 miles of primary pipeline and currently transports products from the Los Angeles Basin to Phoenix, Arizona, and the East Line which is approximately 400 miles of pipeline originating in El Paso, Texas transporting products to Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona.
In addition, Kinder Morgan’s SFPP operations include 13 truck-loading terminals which provide services including short-term product storage, truck loading, vapor handling, additive injection, dye injection and oxygenate blending.
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Chief of Police Chris Wenzel and District Attorney Mark Peterson (Felon)


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The Dead or Imprisoned Students of Acalanes Unified School District - Anja S.


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09/11/2012~ The Mini 9/11 Tribute at 680 and El Curtola Walnut Creek CA

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McAfee Virus Protection at SBC


Authors Note: 



Another virus to hit the Internet in 2001 was the Nimda (which is admin spelled backwards) worm. Nimda spread through the Internet rapidly, becoming the fastest propagating computer virus at that time. In fact, according to TruSecure CTO Peter Tippett, it only took 22 minutes from the moment Nimda hit the Internet to reach the top of the list of reported attacks [source: Anthes].
The Nimda worm's primary targets were Internet servers. While it could infect a home PC, its real purpose was to bring Internet traffic to a crawl. It could travel through the Internet using multiple methods, including e-mail. This helped spread the virus across multiple servers in record time.
The Nimda worm created a backdoor into the victim's operating system. It allowed the person behind the attack to access the same level of functions as whatever account was logged into the machine currently. In other words, if a user with limited privileges activated the worm on a computer, the attacker would also have limited access to the computer's functions. On the other hand, if the victim was the administrator for the machine, the attacker would have full control.
The spread of the Nimda virus caused some network systems to crash as more of the system's resources became fodder for the worm. In effect, the Nimda worm became a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
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SEC v. Blast Energy Services, Inc and NIMDA a/k/a The 9/11 Virus and McAfee AntiVirus




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U.S. Department of Labor | ALJ CASE NO. 02-LCA-24 WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION v. NOVINVEST, LLC


Walnut Creek Ford
An Honest Friendly Dealer 





U.S. Department of Labor
Administrative Review Board
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210

ARB CASE NO. 03-060 
ALJ CASE NO. 02-LCA-24 
DATE: July 30, 2004
In the Matter of:
ADMINISTRATOR, WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR,
    PLAINTIFF,
    v.
NOVINVEST, LLC, 
BEFORE: THE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW BOARD
Appearances:
For Prosecuting Party Administrator, Wage and Hour Division: 
   Lois R. Zuckerman, Esq., Paul L. Frieden, Esq., Steven J. Mandel, Esq., U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C.
For Respondent, Novinvest, LLC: 
    Ed Hyken, Atlanta, Georgia
FINAL DECISION AND ORDER
    This case arises under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (INA), 8 U.S.C.A. §§ 1101-1537 (West 1999 & Supp. 2004), and regulations at 20 C.F.R. Part 655 (2003). Novinvest LLC (Novinvest) petitions for review of a Decision and Order (D. & O.) issued by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) on January 21, 2003. Novinvest is a corporation that engages in computer consulting and employs nonimmigrant alien computer programmer analysts. The ALJ found that Novinvest was liable for back wages to nonimmigrant workers, including an "investment fee" imposed against three of these workers. We modify the decision of the ALJ as explained below.
Jurisdiction and Standard of Review
    The Administrative Review Board (ARB) has jurisdiction to review the ALJ's decision under 8 U.S.C.A. § 1182(n)(2), and 20 C.F.R. § 655.845. See Secretary's Order No. 1-2002, 67 Fed. Reg. 64,272 (Oct. 17, 2002) (delegating to the ARB the Secretary's authority to review cases arising under, inter alia, the INA).

[Page 2]
    Under the Administrative Procedure Act, the Board, as the designee of the Secretary of Labor, acts with "all the powers [the Secretary] would have in making the initial decision . . . ." 5 U.S.C.A. § 557(b) (West 1996), quoted in Goldstein v. Ebasco Constructors, Inc., 1986-ERA-36, slip op. at 19 (Sec'y Apr. 7, 1992). The Board engages in de novo review of the ALJ's decision. Yano Enterprises, Inc. v. Administrator, ARB No. 01-050, ALJ No. 2001-LCA-0001, slip op. at 3 (ARB Sept. 26, 2001); Administrator v. Jackson,ARB No. 00-068, ALJ No. 1999-LCA-0004, slip op. at 3 (ARB Apr. 30, 2001). See generally Mattes v. U.S. Dep't of Agriculture, 721 F.2d 1125, 1128-1130 (7th Cir. 1983) (rejecting argument that higher level administrative official was bound by ALJ's decision); McCann v. Califano, 621 F.2d 829, 831 (6th Cir. 1980), and cases cited therein (sustaining rejection of ALJ's decision by higher level administrative review body).
Regulatory Framework
    The INA permits employers to employ nonimmigrant alien workers in specialty occupations in the United States. 8 U.S.C.A. § 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) (H-1B nonimmigrants). Specialty occupations are occupations that require "theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and . . . attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States." 8 U.S.C.A. § 1184(i)(1). In order to be eligible for employment in the United States, these workers must receive H-1B visas from the State Department upon approval by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. 20 C.F.R. § 655.705(b). The employer concomitantly must obtain certification from the United States Department of Labor after filing a Labor Condition Application (LCA). 8 U.S.C.A. § 1182(n). The LCA must stipulate the wage levels and working conditions for the H-1B employees. 8 U.S.C.A. § 1182(n)(1); 20 C.F.R. §§ 655.731, 655.732. Deductions from wages expressly not authorized under the regulations include "a penalty paid by the H-1B nonimmigrant for ceasing employment with the employer prior to a date agreed to by the nonimmigrant and the employer." 20 C.F.R. § 655.731(c)(10)(i). See generally D. & O. at 12-15, 20-21.
Issue
    Did the ALJ correctly determine that Novinvest is liable for the $5,000 deduction from the salaries of its H-1B nonimmigrant employees and must compensate each worker for judgment amounts assessed?
Background
   The ALJ has set forth the facts of the case in detail (D. & O. at 2-12), and we will not revisit them in their entirety. We limit our focus to the issue upon which Novinvest petitions for review. See Novinvest LLC Petition to Review the Decision and Order dated February 18, 2003; 20 C.F.R. § 655.845(b)(3) and (4) (petition for ARB review must specify issues giving rise to petition and state specific reasons why petitioning party believes ALJ decision is in error).

[Page 3]
   Novinvest provides computer specialists "on a project basis to client companies." Prosecuting Party's Exhibit (PX) 5 at 1. Novinvest employed H-1B nonimmigrant "specialists" after it filed an LCA with the Department of Labor and after the Department of State, upon approval of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, issued the employees H-1B visas. The employees at issue for our purposes are Philip Peshin, Alex Koloskov, and Igor Viazovoi.1
   Pursuant to an employment agreement, Novinvest required each of its employees to assume liability for a $5,000 investment fee. Captioned "Relocation Assistance," this provision of the agreement stated:
The Company invests considerable time, effort and financial resources in organizing, assisting and transitioning the Employee to life in the US. The value of the Company's up-front investment (in order to hire, process and train Employee) is estimated as USD 5,000 (five thousand) per Employee. This investment is considered an interest-free loan from the Company to the Employee starting on the day employee arrives in the US. Every month, 1/12 (one twelfth) of the amount is forgiven by the Company, so that at the end of the Employee's first year with the Company the entire amount is forgiven. If the Employee leaves the Company's employment, for any reason, before the end of one year, or is terminated, the remaining balance becomes due, and the Employee must reimburse the Company.
PX 5 at 5. The employees never actually received $5,000, and Novinvest was unable to document expenditures of $5,000 for each employee. D. & O. at 5-6 (Stipulation No. 20, Finding of Fact No. 4). All three employees resigned from Novinvest prior to their one-year anniversary date.
   After a hearing, the ALJ found that the $5,000 investment fee constituted an impermissible early termination penalty and that Novinvest violated its wage obligations under the INA and implementing regulations by charging the H-1B workers the $5,000 penalty.2 D. & O. at 19-22; 20 C.F.R. § 655.731(c)(10)(i); 20 C.F.R. §655.731(c)(11). The ALJ found Novinvest liable for the following amounts in compensation for the penalty: Peshin was due $5,000, Koloskov was due $2,347.52, and Viazovoi was due $1666.67. D. & O. at 22.
   Novinvest had secured state court judgments against the respective employees, which included the $5,000 investment fee. D. & O. at 7-9 (Findings of Fact Nos. 7, 16, 21). The judgments against Peshin, Koloskov, and Viazovoi totaled $8,789.45, $2,347.52, and $1,666.66, respectively. Peshin paid none of his judgment, Koloskov paid $1,200 of his judgment, and Viazovoi paid $55 of his judgment. Id.
Discussion
    In its petition for review, Novinvest argues that the ALJ erred in calculating the amounts owed to the three employees. First, according to Novinvest, the ALJ arbitrarily attributed the amounts awarded in the judgments against Koloskov and Viazovoi exclusively to the impermissible penalty when Novinvest presumably had asserted other claims. As evidence, Novinvest cites the $8,683.38 claim against Koloskov for which it received an award of only $2,347.52 and the $8,487.00 claim against Viazovoi for which it received an award of only $1,666.66. Second, according to Novinvest, "the amounts assessed to Novinvest should not exceed the amounts actually paid by the three individuals toward the satisfaction of Novinvest's judgments." Petition at 1. In other words, Peshin should receive nothing, Koloskov should receive $1,200, and Viazovoi should receive $55.

[Page 4]
   The INA and its implementing regulations expressly prohibit early termination penalties. Specifically, it is a violation of the INA
for an employer who has filed an application under this subsection to require an H-1B nonimmigrant to pay a penalty for ceasing employment with the employer prior to a date agreed to by the nonimmigrant and the employer. The Secretary shall determine whether a required payment is a penalty (and not liquidated damages) pursuant to relevant State law.
8 U.S.C.A. § 1182(n)(2)(C)(vi)(I). See 20 C.F.R. § 655.731(c)(10)(i) ("[a] deduction from or reduction in the payment of the required wage is not authorized (and therefore is prohibited)" for purposes of "[a] penalty paid by the H-1B nonimmigrant for ceasing employment with the employer prior to a date agreed to by the nonimmigrant and the employer"). The ALJ found that Novinvest violated the INA when it assessed the "investment fee" penalties (D. & O. at 19-22), and Novinvest has not appealed this aspect of the ALJ's decision. We find, therefore, that Novinvest is not entitled to recover from the nonimmigrants any of the $5,000 investment fees. We disagree with the ALJ, however, with respect to the back wage calculations. The ALJ determined that Novinvest owed each of the workers the full amount of the judgments assessed. We find instead that Novinvest is required to refund to Peshin, Koloskov, and Viazovoi monies actually paid by them as compensation for the investment fee penalty. Any fees or costs associated with collection of monies pursuant to that provision also must be refunded. We note that the Secretary is authorized to impose administrative remedies, including civil money penalties, for willful failure to meet a condition of an attestation or a willful misrepresentation of material fact in an attestation. See 8 U.S.C.A. § 1182(n)(2)(C); 20 C.F.R. § 655.810. Therefore, Noinvest may be subject to additional action by the Secretary if it engages in further efforts to obtain penalty provision funds.
Conclusion
    Noinvest is not entitled to recover any amounts under the "Relocation Assistance" provision of its contracts with the H-1B nonimmigrant employees. The decision of the ALJ hereby is MODIFIED to order repayment of amounts paid by the nonimmigrants to Novinvest pursuant to the "Relocation Assistance" provision of the employment agreement, including any fees or costs in connection therewith.
   SO ORDERED.
      JUDITH S. BOGGS
      Administrative Appeals Judge
      OLIVER M. TRANSUE
      Administrative Appeals Judge
[ENDNOTES]
1 These H-1B nonimmigrants, in addition to another nonimmigrant, Igor Politykin, arrived in the United States between March 2000 and April 2001. They arrived prepared to work, but Novinvest "benched" them and refused to pay them in violation of the INA. See 8 U.S.C.A. § 1182(n)(1)(A); 8 U.S.C.A. § 1182(n)(2)(C)(vii); 20 C.F.R. § 655.731(c)(7)(i) (if the H-1B nonimmigrant is not performing work and is nonproductive due to a decision by the employer (e.g., due to lack of work) the employer is required to pay him at the wage listed in the LCA). After an investigation, the Administrator determined that Novinvest owed these employees back wages for benching periods during the course of employment. The ALJ upheld the Administrator's determination as well as the back wage calculations. D. & O. at 15-17. Novinvest did not appeal these findings.
2 The Administrator's determination letter did not allege specifically that the "investment fee" requirement violated the INA, stating merely that Novinvest had "failed to pay wages as required." PX 29 at 1. The Administrator subsequently moved to conform the determination letter to the evidence to include allegations pertaining to the investment fee. Hearing Transcript at 129-131. The ALJ granted the motion, finding the early termination penalty issue properly before him. D. & O. at 18-19. Novinvest did not appeal this finding.


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