Thursday, May 28, 2015

15 Chinese nationals indicted in Pittsburgh in student visa fraud scheme.

The Department of Justice announced today that 15 Chinese nationals have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh "on charges of conspiracy, counterfeiting foreign passports, mail fraud and wire fraud".
According to the indictment, between 2011 and 2015, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy and a scheme to defraud Educational Testing Services (ETS) and the College Board by having imposters take college and graduate school standardized entrance examinations, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). In carrying out the scheme, the conspirators had counterfeit Chinese passports made and sent to the United States, which were used by the imposters to defraud ETS administrators into believing that they were other people, namely the conspirators who would receive the benefit of the imposter’s test score for use at American colleges and universities. The majority of the fraudulent exams taken by the conspirators were taken in western Pennsylvania.

“The perpetrators of this conspiracy were using fraudulent passports for the purpose of impersonating test takers of standardized tests including the SAT, GRE and TOEFL and thereby securing fraudulently obtained admissions to American institutions of higher education and circumventing the F1 Student Visa requirements,” stated U.S. Attorney Hickton. “This case establishes that we will protect the integrity of our passport and visa process, as well as safeguard the national asset of our higher education system from fraudulent access.”

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