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The owner of a California for-profit school chain has pleaded guilty to immigration fraud after being accused of running a "pay-to-stay" scheme involving foreign nationals who would falsely obtain immigration documents allowing them to remain in the U.S. on student visas even though they were not actually students, Inside Higher Ed reports.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California announced that the school owner, Hee Sun Shim, 53, agreed to forfeit $465,000 seized by investigators as part of a plea deal in which he faces the potential for a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

Prosecutors claimed that Shim's four schools collected tuition from and issued immigration documents to individuals who were not genuine students and had no intention of attending classes at Prodee University, Walter Jay M.D. Institute, the American College of Forensic Studies and Likie Fashion and Technology College.
 


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