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Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 2:18 PM
— The Air Force Office of Special Investigations is looking into Wright State University for issues related to H-1B visa fraud that may have occurred at the school.
The university’s board of trustees is set to approve a waiver of attorney-client privilege to allow the Air Force office to access an internal audit. The board, which has approved similar waivers several times, will vote on the measure Friday morning, according to board documents and an agenda.
The probe would make the Air Force Office of Special Investigations the fifth agency investigating Wright State for matters related to possible H-1B visa fraud. WSU has already provided the material to the U.S. Attorney’s office, the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Ohio Inspector General and the Ohio Auditor.
If WSU trustees approve the waiver, the AFOSI would be granted access to the same set of materials provided to the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations, according to a board document.
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations investigates espionage, terrorism, crimes against property, violence against people, larceny, computer hacking, acquisition fraud, drug use and distribution, financial misdeeds, military desertion, corruption of the contracting process and any other activities that could undermine the U.S. Air Force or Department of Defense, according to the office’s website.
RELATED: Why the redacted pages in WSU audit?
“Since this is an open and ongoing fraud investigation at this time, no investigative details are releasable at this time,” Linda Card, chief public affairs officer for AFOSI said via email.
In 2015, a federal investigation came to light of WSU’s potential misuse of the federal H-1B work visa program, which led to four administrators being suspended; two remain on paid leave.
This newspaper revealed that Wright State sponsored 19 foreign workers who came to the U.S. to work at an area information technology staffing company that paid the workers less than what local graduates typically make for similar IT work.
Immigration experts say it’s possible the arrangement violated immigration laws designed to prevent staffing agencies from trafficking in cheap labor from overseas.
In April, WSU trustees asked the university’s attorney to make referrals for further investigations out of “an abundance of caution,” said Doug Fecher, chairman of WSU’s board of trustees. Fecher said that the probe by the AFOSI is just another result of those referrals.
Wright State’s board of trustees are set to meet at 4 p.m. today in executive session in the Wright Brothers Room of the student union. The board will meet in public session at 8:30 a.m. Friday in the Nutter Center’s Berry Room.
3 FAST STORIES YOU NEED TO READ
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:15 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 1:11 PM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 1:11 p.m.
Steve Brack, a GrubHub driver that was making lunchtime deliveries downtown, said: “Pieces of charred black material are floating off the building and landing on the street.”
He said the downtown area is a “parking lot.”
RELATED: Dayton Fire: CareSource fire involves roofing materials
UPDATE @ 12:48 p.m.
All construction workers have been accounted for with no injuries reported, according to emergency dispatchers.
Smoke can been seen for miles, including from Troy.
UPDATE @ 12:40 p.m.
The six-story CareSource Center City has construction led by Danis which started in 2017. It’s on the site of the former Patterson Co-op High School on the 100 block of East First Street.
Roads are closed downtown from Jefferson Street to St. Clair Street and from Second Street to Monument Street. Avoid the area.
#TRAFFICALERT - Roads are closed downtown from Jefferson St. To St. Clair and from Second St. to Monument St. Due to a working fire. Please avoid the area.— Dayton Police Dept. (@DaytonPolice) March 22, 2018
UPDATE @ 12:30 p.m.
Heavy black smoke is seen from miles away. The fire is in area of First and Jefferson streets, where a CareSource building is under construction.
A caller into the newsroom described downtown as a “parking lot.”
A fire is reported in downtown Dayton.
Around 12 p.m. the fire is reported at a CareSource building on construction at 134 N. Jefferson St. Traffic is being impacted at First and Main streets.
We have units on the way and will update this report.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 12:49 PM
UPDATE @ 1:32 p.m. (March 22):
The vice president for the company constructing the new CareSource building in downtown Dayton said all employees and construction workers are accounted for and there were no injuries in the fire this afternoon.
“We had an incident on the roof of the building,” said Troy Erbes, Vice President with Danis. “Some roof insulation caught on fire.”
Erbes said they are still working to determine what caused the fire to start.
“Now we’re in the investigation state,” Erbes said.
CareSource planned to open its new downtown Dayton campus in the spring of 2019.
The company had started construction last year on what is to be the first newly constructed office tower in downtown Dayton in a decade.
The six-story CareSource Center City is the first newly constructed downtown office project underway since the nonprofit - a fast growing Medicaid managed care company - broke ground on its Main Street headquarters.
The building, with construction led by Danis, will be at the site of the former Patterson Co-op High School on the 100 block of East First Street.
It will have the space to house 800 employees from CareSource, have a similar design to its headquarters and is intended create a walkable, campus like environment for its employees.
CareSource, which now has about 2,000 employees in downtown Dayton, has been rapidly growing in recent years into a nonprofit with more than $7 billion in revenue and members in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and now Georgia, which it just expanded into this year.
The insurer has become a major employer in Dayton, anchoring downtown with its employment base. It struck a deal with the Ohio Tax Credit Authority late last year to increase its job-creation commitment to 1,920 jobs by 2019 — including current positions being filled and the new jobs promised — raising the company’s annual payroll in Dayton to more than $129 million.
Along with its 230 N. Main St. headquarters, CareSource bought a building it had been leasing called Ballpark Village, across from Fifth Third Field.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 9:16 AM
Continuing his campaign vow to get tough on countries which don’t play fair on trade, President Donald Trump on Thursday recommended slapping nearly $50 billion in new tariffs on products from China, as he accused the Chinese of stealing American technology.
“This has been long in the making,” the President told reporters at the White House, as he said his pledge to do something about unfair trade practices was just getting started.
“It’s probably one of the reasons I was elected, maybe one of the main reasons,” Mr. Trump said, as he has steadfastly resisted the calls of Republicans in Congress to stay away from tariffs on imported goods, which critics say are nothing more than a tax on American consumers.
“We’re doing things for this country which should have been done for many, many years,” the President added.
Trump Administration officials will now go over proposals for tariffs on all sorts of goods imported from China, much different than the targeted tariff plan that Mr. Trump approved earlier this month on imported steel and aluminum.
“It’s out of control,” the President said of the trade imbalance between the U.S. and China.
At the same event, Vice President Mike Pence said today’s move against China again signaled that the “era of economic surrender” is over when it comes to the United States.
“The United States of America is taking targeted and focused action to protect not only American jobs, but American technology,” Pence added.
The reaction in Congress was much more muted than a move to impose new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum coming into the country, when a number of Republicans denounced the idea of tariffs, arguing it could spark a trade war.
As the President’s decision was announced, Wall Street markets went down, with investors worried by a possible trade fight with the Chinese.
Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 1:15 PM
— The top lawyer representing President Donald Trump in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election resigned Thursday, according to multiple reports.
Attorney John Dowd’s resignation came days after he called for an end to Mueller’s investigation, claiming it was “manufactured” by former FBI Director James Comey and based on an infamous -- and mostly unverified -- dossier that was funded in part by the Democratic National Committee and Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“I love the president and wish him well,” Dowd wrote Thursday in an email to The Washington Post.
The newspaper reported that Dowd’s departure was “a largely mutual decision” based on Trump’s recent belief that Dowd couldn’t handle Mueller’s investigation and the attorney’s frustration with the president’s recent additions to his legal team. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow earlier this week brought one of his friends, veteran Washington attorney Joseph diGenova, onto the team, according to The New York Times.
It was not immediately clear who would take over as lead of the president’s legal team.
“John Dowd is a friend and has been a valuable member of our legal team,” Sekulow said Thursday in a statement to the Times. “We will continue our ongoing representation of the president and our cooperation with the office of special counsel.”
CNN reported that Dowd’s exit could hint that Trump’s legal team plans to become more aggressive in defending the president.
Dowd, who took over Trump’s legal team last summer, has advised the president to cooperate in Mueller’s investigation and refrain from publicly attacking the special counsel, the Times reported. Still, Trump has targeted Mueller for criticism in recent days, repeating his claims that the probe is little more than a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2018
Last month, Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three organizations on charges of interfering in the election. Three of Trump's associates -- former national security adviser Michael Flynn, deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates and campaign aide George Papadopoulos -- have pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and agreed to cooperate. Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has pleaded not guilty to a variety of money laundering and other criminal charges.