- United States
About 1500 students mostly from India were enrolled in an unaccredited Tri-Valley University over the period of two year. The sham university was shut down in January 2011.
Victoria Nuland, State Department spokeswoman has termed it “a pretty horrible visa scam, where a fake university petitioned and got visas for a bunch of students to come over and then actually turned out not to be a real educational institution.”
Tri-Valley University (TVU) was operating from a small building located in in Pleasanton, California. The building that had maximum capacity of thirty students only, had about 1500 students enrolled at the time it was shut down. Most of TVU’s students were moved to other parts of the country and started jobs permitted under the visa program’s work-study provisions. Single apartment was claimed to be the residence of more than fifty per cent of the students enrolled in the university.
The university’s president, Susan Su, is accused fraud, money laundering and harboring aliens. She allegedly gained certification to sponsor foreign student visas by providing fake information. Federal approvals to sponsor students to the Tri-Valley University were obtained by submitting forged documents. The foreign students would get the visa by paying the tuition fee of $2,700 per semester.
Susan Su was able to amass estimated 3.2 million dollars during the three years period of TVU’s operation. She purchased a house and a new Mercedes-Benz from the money received as tuition fees.
Only 435 of the students have been allowed to transfer to other universities, but the status of more than 900 other students has to be decided yet.
The website of the TVU has Susan Su’s message requesting for donations to save the university.
Tags: Student Visa, Study Visa Scam, Tri-Valley University