A San Francisco woman has been jailed 16 years for running a bogus university that served as a front for an immigration scam.
Susan Su made US$5.6 million from the racket which she used to buy homes, a luxury car and several commercial properties, Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Su, 44, is the founder and president of Tri-Valley University which charged foreigners tuition and other payments for visa-related documents that allowed them to live in the United States, purportedly as legal students.
US District Court Judge Jon S. Tigar sentenced Su on Friday after she was convicted in March of visa fraud and other charges.
She was also ordered to forfeit US$5.6 million and pay more than US$900,000 in restitution, the report said, citing prosecutors.
“Student visas are intended to give people from around the world a chance to come to this country to enrich themselves with the vast learning opportunities available here,” Tatum King, acting special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations in San Francisco, said in a statement.
“But in this case, the defendant was interested in a different kind of enrichment, her own.”
The Tri-Valley case is not unique in the San Francisco area.
Jerry Wang, chief executive of Herguan University and the University of East-West Medicine, is facing visa fraud charges in connection in a similar scheme, according to authorities.
He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go on trial next month.
In the Tri-Valley case, employees testified that the school had no graduation or admission requirements and that Su instructed her staff to fabricate transcripts and other documents.
The school described itself as a “Christian higher education institution” that provided higher education in engineering, business and ministry, according to court documents.
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