(This is an excerpt from a press release from Department of Justice)
A federal grand jury in San Francisco recently returned a 15-count indictment against Jerry Wang, the Chief Executive Officer of the Sunnyvale-based Herguan University and University of East-West Medicine, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and U.S. Immigration and the San Francisco Special Agent in Charge for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Clark Settles. Wang, 34, was arrested today at his home in Santa Clara, Calif., prior to making his initial appearance in federal court in San Jose.
The indictment, which was returned July 24, 2012, and unsealed today, alleges 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. The indictment further alleges 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.
The maximum statutory penalties for the violations alleged in the indictment are as follows:
- Conspiracy to commit visa fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371: five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and forfeiture;
- Visa fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1546(a): 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and forfeiture;
- Use of false document, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(3): five years in prison and a $250,000 fine;
- Aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A: mandatory consecutive two years in prison, and a $250,000 fine; and
- Unauthorized access to a government computer, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(3): one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
In light of the allegations uncovered during the ongoing investigation, Herguan University faces the loss of its authorization to enroll foreign students under SEVP. ICE has issued Herguan a Notice of Intent to Withdraw, the first step in revoking the school’s SEVP certification. Herguan has 30 days to respond to the notice and request an interview to contest the action. Meanwhile, foreign students who are currently enrolled at Herguan may continue to attend classes as long as the school remains SEVP-certified and the students are able to maintain their lawful immigration status. ICE has posted additional guidance for foreign students attending Herguan University on its website at the following link – www.ice.gov/sevis.
Wang is next scheduled to appear in federal court in San Jose on Aug. 20, 2012, for identification of counsel and arraignment.