The CEO of the New Jersey-based PC Tech computer training school and the owner of a consulting firm have been charged by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for student visa fraud. The two companies worked together under the cover of the tech school to help foreign students receive student visas, but never verified the information of the foreign nationals.
Dhirenkumar Parikh, owner of Vision Career Consultants and Manamadurai Somalingham, CEO of PC Tech were charged with conspiracy to obtain and receive student visas for entry information and conspiracy to conceal, harbor, and shield illegal aliens.
The two men and their accomplices defrauded the Student and Exchange Visitor Program by charging and providing foreign nationals with documents needed to receive student visas, but they never verified the information on the applications. They falsely certified attendance records and helped foreign nationals hide prior violations so they could receive their visas.
"America welcomes people from around the world to come to the United States to enrich themselves with remarkable educational opportunities through the Student Exchange and Visitor Program," said Andrew McLees, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Newark. "Those schools, however, that choose to misuse this program by permitting ineligible persons to remain in the country illegally, thereby corrupting America's legal immigration system and potentially do us harm, will be brought to justice."
"The Student and Exchange Visitor Program opens educational opportunities to deserving foreign students and enriches the educational environment at our schools," U.S. Attorney Fishman said. "Their actions highlight the need for constant vigilance in protecting all avenues of entry into this country. The defendants tried to corrupt this worthy program to enable illegal entry into the country and to reap personal profit."
Those arrested could face up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiring to obtain and receive student visa information and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 for conspiring to conceal, harbor, and shield illegal aliens.
For more information, see the Immigration and Customs Enforcement newsroom.
Updated: Mon, May 15th 2017 @ 5:00pm EDT