Herguan University CEO Indicted, Hundreds of Indian Students Could Face Deportation

Front page of Indictment/Credit: Court Indictment Document

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Washington, DC – The fate of hundreds of Indian students at Herguan University in Sunnyvale, California became uncertain on Friday after the school’s CEO was arrested Thursday and charged with 15 counts of visa fraud, while the students were issued advisories by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The SEVIS advisory posted on the official DHS website stated, “If Herguan University students cannot attend classes and maintain their active status in a manner required by the regulation, or if they are unable or do not wish to transfer to another SEVP-certified institution, they must depart the country without prejudice within seven calendar days.”

In a continuation of the efforts to crack down on fraudulent schools, federal authorities arrested CEO Jerry Wang, 32, at his home in Santa Clara, and filed federal charges in a 15 count indictment. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 23 years in prison and over $1 million in fines.

According to court documents in possession of India America Today, Wang allegedly lured Indian students to his unaccredited school by using fraudulent documents to obtain visas.

The indictment alleged “four counts of visa fraud, four false document counts, two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of unauthorized access to a government computer and forfeiture.”

Wang is scheduled to appear in federal court in San Jose on Aug. 20, 2012, for identification of counsel and arraignment, according to the court documents.

India America Today received an email statement late Friday night from Herguan University stating that Wang had resigned on Aug 2, the same day ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) spent the day on the university premises.

“On August 2, ICE spent the day in the building that houses Herguan University in Sunnyvale, CA. They were searching for evidence to support their charges against an employee of the university. That employee worked as the chief executive officer and the DSO who issued documents needed by foreign students on visas,” said Doreen Simmons, Interim Chief Operating Officer of Herguan University, in a statement.

“The charges against Jerry Wang, who resigned his position August 2, relate to issues that occurred several years ago,” Simmons added. However, the court indictment alleged that, “Beginning in July 2007 and continuing through at least February 2011, Wang and others conspired to commit visa fraud through the submission of falsified documents to the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), and the forgery of visa-related documents.”

“Herguan University is proud to serve mostly Indian students on F1 visas,” said Simmons. Several current students who spoke to India America Today, but did not want to be identified, confirmed that the student body at the university includes more than 300 Indian students, most from Andhra Pradesh, a southern Indian state.

Repeated messages left with the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC had not been returned as of late Friday night. (IATNS)

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