Owner and employee of Miami, FL school charged with immigration-related fraudMarch 5th, 2010 - 3:37 am ICT by BNO News
MIAMI, FLORIDA (BNO NEWS) – The owner/operator and an employee of the Florida Language Institute, in Miami, were charged on a four-count indictment in an immigration-related fraud, prosecutors announced on Thursday.
Lydia Menocal, 58, the school’s director, and Ofelia Macia, 75, a school employee, allegedly completed, signed and submitted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) an application for approval to issue Forms I-20, the ones required in order to obtain student visas by foreign nationals.
On the Forms I-20, Menocal swore, under penalty of perjury, that Florida Language’s students would be required to attend at least 18 hours of class per week. However, the defendants did not in fact require that the foreign nationals attend class and also failed to report to DHS, the vast majority of Florida Language’s foreign national students who were not attending classes regularly.
As part of the investigation 80 student visa violators that purported to be attending Florida Language Institute from countries including Thailand, Syria, Honduras, South Korea, Japan, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Venezuela, and Brazil were arrested.
If convicted the defendants, both residents of Miami, face up to 5 years in prison. Menocal also faces up to 10 years in prison for the false statement charges.
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