US varsity head held for fraud, students’ future in limbo
Around 400 Indian students in the US are staring at an uncertain future after the CEO of their university was arrested for visa fraud.delhi Updated: Aug 05, 2012 01:30 IST
Around 400 Indian students in the US are staring at an uncertain future after the CEO of their university was arrested for visa fraud.
Jerry Wang, CEO of Herguan University in Sunnyvale, California, was arrested Thursday and has since been charged with 15 counts of visa fraud, Indian officials confirmed. Homeland Security officials also raided a building that houses both Herguan and the University of East-West Medicine, another school headed by Wang.
Initial court documents suggest Wang faked letters from three accredited universities, claiming they recognised academic credits earned at the unaccredited Herguan.
He then sent these letters to the US immigration department to facilitate visas for students. Investigators are trying to find out how much he charged students.
Most of the Indians at Herguan are from Andhra Pradesh — as was the case at Tri Valley University, also in Sunnyvale, that was shut down last January after its CEO was similarly arrested for visa fraud.
Herguan hasn’t yet been declared illegal, but it is unclear if students will be allowed to continue there or if they’ll have to move to another school.
Most good universities are unlikely to welcome students from a tainted institute. It is also unclear if any of the Indians at Herguan are on fake visas. If they are, they could face criminal charges themselves.
Several of the 2,000-odd Indians at Tri Valley were initially charged with criminal conspiracy. The charges were later dropped and most have had to return to India.