Here is an update for our readers on an immigration story we highlighted back in January. The case takes place in California but the issues related to student visas and the college system are worth examining here in a central Ohio community very strongly centered around higher education.
Last month Susan Xiao-Ping Su was arrested by federal prosecutors on charges including visa fraud, money laundering, wire fraud and alien harboring. Su, 41, was arrested in Pleasanton, California on May 2 after being indicted April 28 on 33 separate counts.
(You can find our detailed post on Tri-Valley HERE.)
Su's indictment says that over a two-year period she used the country's visa program to defraud the Department of Homeland Security out of millions of dollars. Su would submit fraudulent documents, the indictment says, for student visas in exchange for payment Tri-Valley referred to as "tuition and fees."
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said in a statement that Su's indictment alleges she "took advantage of others' eagerness to come to the United States."
Students were admitted to the unaccredited Tri-Valley so they could remain in the country on student visas without requiring them to attend class. In 2009 Tri-Valley had two international students enrolled on visas. In the fall of 2010 that number became more than 1,100.
95 percent of Tri-Valley's students were from India. The school was primarily an online university, with its students living throughout the country. Tri-Valley filed documents alleging more than half of the school's 1,500 international students were living in the same apartment. Prosecutors referred to the school as a "sham university" in a separate civil suit filed in January.
In the civil suit the university was said to be engaged in a pyramid scheme, whereby those already enrolled at the school could collect 20 percent of the tuition for new students they recommended.
Continue reading "Tri-Valley President Arrested on Fraud Charges" »