SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice has charged a Redmond CEO with visa fraud.

The Seattle Times reports Pradyumna Kumar Samal was charged last week in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

Samal is the chief executive of two technology firms known as Divensi and Azimetry which acted as contracting firms for big tech companies, hiring engineers and assigning them to projects.

The Justice Department's charges against Samal say that he applied for over 100 H-1B visas indicating that a worker was needed for a specific project even though the projects didn't exist.

Court documents say when the worker got to the U.S., that person would not be assigned to the project and would be required to pay Divensi and Azimetry a partially-refundable fee, which sometimes reached $5,000.

Samal's lawyer Diane Butler disputes the agency's claims.