Posted on August 6, 2012

Silicon Valley University CEO Indicted on Charges of Visa Fraud

Lisa M. Krieger and Molly Vorwerck, Contra Costa Times, August 3, 2012

Striking a blow at a Silicon Valley school that attracted foreigners with student visas, federal agents on Thursday raided Sunnyvale’s Herguan University and charged its CEO with visa fraud.

The indictment marks the second time federal officials have ensnared a Bay Area university in a growing effort to catch up with schools that allegedly rake in millions of dollars as so-called visa mills.

Herguan University leader Jerry Wang, 32, was arrested Thursday at his home in Santa Clara and charged in a 15-count indictment that could send him to prison for up to 23 years and amount to more than $1 million in fines.

The charges come a year after an investigation by this newspaper found Herguan was among a group of Bay Area schools — including Pleasanton’s now-shuttered Tri-Valley University — that misrepresented information on federal applications, which allowed them to sponsor overseas students for coveted visas.

In the case of Tri-Valley, federal agents allege the unaccredited school had been paid millions of dollars by foreigners to obtain student visas that authorized them to remain in the U.S.

Thursday’s indictment said Wang and others at Herguan submitted false documents, false transfer letters and made false statements to federal regulators.

{snip} The case could throw into question the immigration status for about 450 students enrolled at Herguan, most natives of India.


Last year, dozens of students at Tri-Valley University faced deportation threats and similar questions when federal agents raided the unaccredited school and charged its president, Susan Su, with raking in millions of dollars in a major visa scam.

Federal investigators found more than 550 students enrolled in the Alameda County university were registered as living at the same address: a two-bedroom apartment on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale.