“The program is not intended for general employment of foreign workers in the United States,” the announcement said.
In the visa paperwork submitted to the U.S. Department of State, Chinese applicants said they would be working with Chang at Georgia Tech, the announcement said. However, once they arrived in the U.S., the visa recipients would go to New Jersey to work with Yu at ZTE USA, according to Erskine’s office. Sometimes, those same Chinese nationals would actually be paid salaries by Georgia Tech, Erskine said.
“The United States welcomes academics and researchers from across the globe,” FBI Atlanta Agent Chris Hacker said. “But we cannot allow anyone to exploit our benevolence. That’s what these defendants are accused of doing and now they will be judged.”
“Schemes like this not only steal invaluable opportunities from legitimate, hard-working students, it also allows scammers to come to the United States and profit from their misdeeds,” Homeland Security Investigations Agent Katrina Berger said.
The announcement did not specify how many people were able to come to the U.S. on fraudulent visas, or what might happen to those who did.
“The defendants allegedly abused the visa program and deceived Georgia Tech to bring researchers into the United States,” Erskine said. “The charges presented are the first step toward holding them accountable.”
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