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12.24.2009

pastor charged in student visa conspiracy

Asian Behaving Badly... visa fraud edition! In Santa Ana, California, a pastor has been accused by immigration authorities of helping foreigners fraudulently obtain student visas and handing out phony diplomas at a fake graduation ceremony on a campus where they never attended class: Calif. pastor accused of student visa conspiracy.

65-year-old Samuel Chai Cho Oh surrendered to authorities this week and faces a charge of conspiracy to commit visa fraud for allegedly charging foreigners cash to help get them student visas on the premise they would attend the Christian university he owns in Fullerton.

But according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, more than a hundred students from countries including South Korea, Thailand and Japan never took classes at California Union University, which served as a shell for them to stay in the country legally.

Oh reportedly charged students between $600 and $10,000 over the last decade -- raking in between $40,000 and $50,000 a month -- to file paperwork on their behalf to certify they had been accepted to the university and would be attending class in order to obtain valid student visas.

Busted! Looks like he had found a way to circumvent the system, and had a pretty good (and really profitable) scheme going. Meanwhile, no criminal charges have been filed against the students. Those who are not eligible to stay in the country legally will face deportation proceedings.