Skip to comments.Man Charged in Sweeping Student Visa Fraud Case
Posted on 03/08/2010 10:58:29 PM PST by Sefton
Higgens was paid by dozens of foreign students -- mostly from the Middle East -- who were paying him to sit in class, take exams and write papers for them so their student visas would remain valid. Investigators with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the demand was so great that he hired employees, including a blond woman who they believe posed as an Middle Eastern man to take a test. Agents are continuing to investigate the case and believe Higgins had several co-conspirators.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimesblogs.latimes.com ...
Test-taking for another student is an old scam. Don’t universities check IDs now?
Video news story here- http://www.ktla.com/news/ look for video titled “KTLA Local Man Arrested in Massive...”
Were they even here at all, or maybe gallivanting around the world?
The 10:00 PM News stated the Mastermind took classes at ten colleges over the past several years and hired others to do the same for the foreign visa students who weren’t really here to go to school.
Talking about the 9-11 mastermind? Or the mastermind of this particular scam?
The only subject Middle Eastern students learned well in their native lands and U.S. madrassahs is 100 ways to hate and destroy infidels.
Didn’t Teddy Kennedy get kicked out of Harvard for this?
Mohamed Khalfan Hazeem Taresh Almehairi of the United Arab Emirates
Khalid Butti Khalifa Mohamed Almehairbi of the United Arab Emirates
Ibrahim Salem Khalfan Almansoori, of the United Arab Emirates
Abdullah Mohammed Alhogail of Saudi Arabia
Mohammed Ali Alnuaim of Saudi Arabia
Saeed Mohamed Hilal Zayed Alfalahi of the United Arab Emirates
Interesting to compare the detail reported by the L.A. Times and the O.C. Register here: http://www.ocregister.com/news/higgins-238119-college-students.html
Makes me wonder if BO had someone do something like this for him, when he was a student.
“Dont universities check IDs now?”
In a 400+ person class???
Hell, even the TA’s haven’t got a clue who’s sitting in those classes.
Maybe like, take the whole darn class for him?
No need to worry! “About half of the students are believed to have returned to their home countries.” immigration officials said.
Actually, they can do the same in any given university that offers classes in American Studies. Every single of them is either about how greedy Americans are or on history of American imperialism.
... and some of them know they will never be able to make an honest living in this corrupt communist society.
Orange County, of course. Heh. Another paragon of leadership.
Thanks for the ping Yehuda.
Note: The following text is a quote:
March 08, 2010
Orange County man charged with running sophisticated student visa fraud scheme
SANTA ANA, Calif. - An Orange County man surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning after being charged with conspiracy for allegedly orchestrating a visa fraud scheme involving dozens of foreign students enrolled at institutions throughout Southern California, including several junior colleges and three California State University campuses.
Foreign students from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Kuwait, Turkey, and Qatar allegedly paid thousands of dollars to the defendant and his associates to take college classes, exams and placement tests on their behalf so they could maintain their lawful immigration status as foreign students.
Eamon Daniel Higgins, 46, of Laguna Niguel, Calif., appeared in U.S. District Court to answer to a criminal information accusing him of one count of conspiring to commit visa fraud. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Higgins’ trial is slated to begin May 4.
Monday morning as Higgins made his initial court appearance, ICE agents fanned out across Orange and Los Angeles counties, arresting 16 of the foreign students linked to the investigation. Of those, six were taken into custody on criminal charges for committing visa fraud. The remaining 10 individuals were arrested on administrative immigration violations and will be placed in removal proceedings. In addition, ICE agents encountered six other foreign students with ties to the case who were instructed to come in for further questioning.
Monday’s enforcement actions are the result of an eight-month investigation spearheaded by ICE, with substantial assistance provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Los Angeles Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
“Visa fraud poses a significant security vulnerability and undermines the integrity of our nation’s legal immigration system,” said Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary John Morton who oversees ICE. “As this case shows, we will move aggressively to identify and prosecute those who engage in fraud and corrupt the immigration process for profit.”
According to the charging document unsealed today, Higgins received up to $1,500 to complete final examinations and other classroom work for foreign students, and $1,000 for taking required English proficiency tests. Higgins allegedly recruited associates to take exams as well.
The court document states that Higgins used personal identifying information provided by the foreign students to obtain counterfeit California driver’s licenses. Then the defendant and his associates, posing as the foreign students, allegedly took the tests and examinations and attended the classes on the students’ behalf. According to the court document, the conspiracy is believed to have begun in January 2002 and continued through mid-December of 2009.
In December 2009, ICE agents executed a federal search warrant at Higgins’ residence in Laguna Niguel. There, agents seized a computer, along with dozens of fraudulent California identification documents and numerous college exam documents. A forensic analysis of the computer and related evidence revealed more than 100 foreign students who may have participated in the fraud scheme. Of those, ICE determined 47 are still in the United States.
“This case is yet another example of the community and every level of law enforcement working together to hold criminals accountable,” said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.
ICE officials emphasize the case is ongoing and agents are continuing to pursue leads. The investigation is being coordinated by the Los Angeles ICE Office of Investigation’s recently expanded Compliance Enforcement Unit (CEU), which focuses on identifying and investigating foreign students and other non-immigrant visitors to the United States who violate the terms of their visas. The Unit prioritizes cases related to individuals who may be involved in ongoing criminal activity or pose a threat to public safety. Other agencies partnering with ICE on the CEU are the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
“This is another example of how combined resources bring significant, substantive action against individuals engaged in illegal activity,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. “This team is proving most effective.”
For photos from the operation, please visit the ICE media gallery.
— ICE —
"Prosecutors state that he provided services to at least 119 students all men from Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Kuwait, Turkey, and Qatar.
For the last eight years, prosecutors said Higgins aided students by taking or directing his associates to take math and English proficiency exams to sociology and marketing classes.
About half of the students are believed to have returned to their home countries, immigration officials said."
"A forensic analysis of the computer and related evidence revealed more than 100 foreign students who may have participated in the fraud scheme. Of those, ICE determined 47 are still in the United States."
Why would they?
Universities only care about the money as long as something like this doesnt end up in the news. Now they will start making noises like they care. They will be shocked and deeply saddened. There will be investigations and expulsions.
After the news coverage dies down it will be back to business as usual.
Y’mean they weren’t really sweeping ... they were cheating with a vacumn cleaner ?
Thanks for the ping!