Photo: Dr. Susan Xiao-Ping Su, founder and president of Tri-Valley University
Monday, a federal grand jury has indicted a California woman on charges that she ran a fraudulent university as a front for international students looking for legal U.S. immigration status.
Tri-Valley University in Pleasanton was the front by which Dr. Susan Xiao-Ping Su, 41, charged a number of immigrant students $2,700 a semester for visa-related documents which allowed them to live and work in the U.S. with student immigrant statuses.
Authorities said Su, illegally obtained visa documents “without regard to the students’ academic qualifications or intent to pursue a course of study required to maintain a lawful immigration status.”
She was indicted on 33 counts of visa fraud, alien harboring, and number of other crimes.
A California university, mostly utilized by online students, is being called-out as a bogus school by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.
A complaint was filed against Tri-Valley University, alleging the school’s founder and president, Dr. Susan Xiao-Ping Su was using TVU to issue visa-related documents to foreign nationals. It is alleged that Su and the sham university made millions selling student visas to anyone willing to pay
Wednesday, ICE officials raided the Silicon Valley school and also executed search warrants for three properties under Su’s name.
The ICE complaint states:
“Since its inception ... Tri-Valley University has been a sham university, which Su, and others, have used to facilitate foreign nationals in illegally acquiring student immigration status that authorizes them to remain in the United States.”
ICE’s investigation began in May of 2010, when it noticed TVU had substantially increased its number of student visas in the last year. In February 2009, TVU was approved to issue visas, and by May of that year, 11 active students had received F-1 visas. ICE became extremely suspicious though when, by May 2010, 939 students had the visas.
The complaint states that over 95 percent of the “students” were from India, and that the school gave the same apartment’s address for over half of them.
The apartment manager reportedly told ICE officials he had only ever had four university students live there and that was only from June 2007 to August 2009. He said he has had none since.
Classes were scheduled to start up again on January 10th, once the winter break was over, but that has not happened.
A current professor at TVU wishing to remain anonymous, said he was shocked to learn of the investigation, and recently received an e-mail from Su saying classes would begin again soon.