Yes, the Department of Homeland Security set up a fake university and ended up arresting people for visa fraud. You have to read this!
The University of Northern New Jersey was established in 2012 as a for-profit university. There was no instructors, no curriculum, no classes.
Because it was a fake university set up by the Department of Homeland Security. The only people who “worked” at the university were federal agents who posed as school administrators who worked at the “university” building.
So did international students actually go to this university? Technically yes.
Federal investigators identified hundreds of international students, mostly from China and India, who first entered the U.S. on F-1 student visas originally to attend other institutions and then transferred to the University of Northern New Jersey (UNNJ).
So in other words:
International students actually got admitted to real U.S. universities and entered with F-1 visas, then transferred to UNNJ allegedly knowing it was a fake university just to keep their nonimmigrant status and not take classes. The 21 people arrested acted as recruiters, telling the students about UNNJ and even asked the fake administrators (the undercover agents) to participate in the scheme.
So the recruiters, what did they get out of this? Money of course. This is known as a “pay-to-stay” scheme. They would get students to transfer to UNNJ just to maintain their student status in exchange for money.
The 21 arrested also created hundreds of fake student records, such as transcripts, attendance records, and diplomas. Additionally, those arrested were also able to get the students work authorizations by creating fake documents that said the students would be working at the school. They were able to fraudulently obtain labor certifications issued by the U.S. Secretary of Labor and petitioned to receive H-1B working visas.
The entire time the recruiters had no idea they were really working with undercover federal agents at a fake university. Perhaps they knew the university was fake, but didn’t know it was set up by the U.S. government.
The 21 defendants are charged with:
-conspiracy to commit visa fraud
-making false statements
These two are punishable by up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
-conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit
– H-1B visa fraud
These two charges are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
To read more and to see the names of those arrested, you can click here.
The UNNJ website has already been taken down. However, we found these Google+ reviews amusing!
Let’s not forget about the fake Facebook posts:
Well done Homeland Security, well done.