Pleasanton Resident Convicted on Federal Charges of Fraud for Misuse of Visas (United States Code 1546)

44-year-old Pleasanton resident has recently been sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for her role in the operation of a phony university, Tri-Valley University in Pleasanton.  It seems that she held herself out to be the owner and operator of a Christian university, but this was merely a cover story.  In reality, she was taking the money of various foreigners (mostly from India) and, in exchange, allowing them to claim that they were in the United States legally and to receive a student visa.  Transcripts were routinely manufactured, there were no actual classes taking place, anyone was allowed to ‘attend,’ and other documents were falsified.  During the course of the trial, it was even discovered that she used the names and credentials of professors from other colleges and universities without their permission.  Students received visa application documentation from Tri-Valley for the price of $2,700 a semester.

According to federal law, United States Code 1546 (“Fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents”), any person who participates in the forgery, counterfeiting, or alteration of any kind of immigration document has committed a federal crime of fraud.  The law is particularly harsh when it comes to cases in which drug trafficking has occurred and an individual convicted of a drug trafficking-related violation of the same could face up to 20 years in federal prison. However, she was not involved in drug trafficking, but merely falsified documents in order for individuals to obtain fake student visas, was only subject to 10 years in federal prison (first offense) or 15 years because another offense against federal law was committed.