US to investigate Tri-Valley Varsity scam

February 1st, 2011 - 1:16 pm ICT by ANI  

By Priscilla Huff

Washington, Feb.1 (ANI): The United States is taking very seriously a civilian case filed against Tri-Valley University of Pleasanton, California.

In a court filing, the university, and its founder, Susan Su, are accused of an elaborate scheme to defraud the students - most of whom were from India.

The U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency has filed a motion in U.S. district court to forfeit the property identified as owned by Ms. Su.

She allegedly purchased the real estate by using the tuition and fees of the students. An investigation is ongoing, and a public affairs officer refused to comment further on the case, other than to email the original court filing.

A hotline to help students has been set up, and the agency says, there have been several responses. Affected students may need to try multiple times before getting through.

ANI spoke with Dr. Virender Paul of the Indian Embassy in Washington. Dr. Paul, the press attaché, told ANI that the only students visiting the embassy were students on normal stops in Washington as part of their studies in the United States.

He postponed further discussion of the Tri-Valley University case.

At the U.S. State Department, spokesman P.J. Crowley described the case as an illustration of the universally damaging effects of visa fraud. He added that ankle-monitors are standard operating procedure in immigration cases like this, but the use of the devices does not suggest guilt on anyone’s part.

The ICE, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, is taking the lead on further investigation into Tri-Valley University.

As of 5 p.m. Washington time, Tri-Valley was still in the database for SEVIS.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is how students coming from another country apply for a visa to study in the United States under the Student and Educational Visitor Program.

The database was last updated on January 21, 2011. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Education or any other recognized body did not recognize Tri-Valley University as a fully accredited university.

And, many have noted, the website for Tri-Valley University has many basic grammatical errors. (ANI)

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