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California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

Founder of Defunct ‘Sham University’ in California Is Convicted of Fraud

03/25/2014

The Chronicle of Higher Education. March 25, 2014.

A federal jury in California on Monday convicted the founder and former president of Tri-Valley University, a shuttered institution that the authorities once called a “sham university,” of dozens of fraud charges stemming from an alleged scheme to exploit student-visa rules and make money off of foreign students, the San Jose Mercury Newsreported.

After a two-day trial, the jury convicted Tri-Valley’s former president, Susan Su, of all 35 counts against her, which included charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and money laundering. She was arrested after being indicted three years ago. Federal prosecutors have not yet recommended a sentence, but Ms. Su faces the possibility of many years in prison.

The newspaper could not reach Ms. Su’s lawyer immediately for comment, but he defended his client to the jury, saying that she had operated the university in good faith.