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Sham varsity racket busted in US; Indian, Chinese recruiters, students outed

Nearly 1000 "students," mostly from India and China, will be routed home after US authorities announced Tuesday that they had raided an education and foreign worker visa scam by setting up a sham university to lure operators.

The US Justice Department has revealed that federal agents have arrested twenty-one brokers, recruiters and employers from all over America, who allegedly worked together with more than 1,000 foreign nationals to deceitfully maintain student visas and obtain foreign worker visas through the sham "pay to stay" New Jersey college set up by Homeland Security (HS) authorities.

The sting was so intricate that HS authorities involved the State Department, FBI, Immigration and Customs, and state-level Education and Transportation offices to infiltrate the racket used by hundreds of Indians and Chinese to travel to the US Starting in September 2013. Officials set up University of Northern New Jersey (UNNJ), a supposed for-profit college situated in Cranford, New Jersey.

The UNNJ had no instructors or educators, no curriculum and held no actual classes or education activities. It operated only as a storefront location with small offices supervised by federal agents pretending to be school administrators. UNNJ represented itself as a school that was authorized to I-20s, a document that states that a foreign national has been accepted to a school and would be a full-time student, and which usually allows legitimate foreign students to get an F-1 student visa.

Investigators said individuals engaged in schemes that destabilized the educational opportunities afforded to international students represent an insult to those who follow the rules. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana said, "While the United States fully supports international education, we will vigorously investigate those who seek to exploit the US immigration system."