Language School Owner Plea Guilty for Smuggling in Foreign Students

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The owner of a Miami Language School has pleaded guilty to fraud for aiding foreign nationals in getting their foreign students visas illegally.
  Language School Owner PleaGuilty For Smuggling in ForeignStudents  The owner of a language school in Miami, US, pleaded guilty when charged withfraud. Lydia Menocal was arrested by the police for aiding foreign nationals ingetting their student visas illegally. These ‘foreign language students’ had neverattended any class in the language school.Lydia Menocal admitted that she has profited about six hundred thousand USdollars by making false statements on the immigrant application documents. Shewas conspiring with the foreign nationals to circumvent the student visaapplication system. However, she has agreed to pay back all the money shemade as part of her plea bargaining with the prosecutor. Anecdotal evidencesuggests that the language school has made at least 2 million dollars by runningthis fraudulent scheme.Registering with a school without ever having to attend might be a dream cometrue for many students. However, under the current circumstance, theconsequences are daunting. The U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement wasable to arrest one hundred and thirteen ‘foreign students’ suspected of conspiring with Lydia Menocal. Those who were arrested were found to beviolating their F-1 visas by accepting full time job offers and never attending anylanguage classes. The F-1 visa stipulates that the visa holders have to attend atleast 18 hours of class every week. All the ‘foreign students’ arrested are nowfacing deportation to their countries of srcin. The immigration department investigator said that Lydia Menocal and heremployee Ofelia Macia were both signing the attendance sheet for their ‘foreignstudents’. Ofelia Macia was also charged with failure to report a felony where shehas pleaded guilty. The authorities said that the Miami language school was nomore than a front put up to shade the visa mill activities. They said that theowner and employees regularly registered foreign nationals as their studentsknowing that they do not have any intention to study. The owner of the language school will face up to five years in prison notwithstanding that she is returning all the money obtained from her fraudulentact. On the other hand, all other language school employees might be looking atup to three years in prison. The reason why such visas are illegal is not only because the immigration rulessaid so, but it is also because it concerns national security. During theSeptember 11 incident, a few of the terrorists involved had also entered into thecountry using student visas, where they had never attended any classes.   This incident is not only unique to the USA, but happening all over the world. Itwas in November 2009, the British Council located in India was involved in ascandalous fraud to allow Indian students to pass the IELTS exam. The BritishCouncil employees had been alleged to be taking money to sit the exam forothers, so that Indian nationals who cannot communicate in English couldcircumvent the UK immigrant visa application process.Language schools should be vigilant about such criminal activities as it couldpotentially destroy the school’s reputation and security of the country.
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