US Federal authorities created a fake university – the University of Farmington to investigate visa fraud and catch those involved.

Earlier this week they swooped and arrested over 100 University of Farmington “students” and eight international student recruiters.

It is alleged that the international student recruiters helped around 600 foreign nationals enroll in the fake university so that they could stay in the US illegally and work. The recruiters now stand accused of visa fraud conspiracy and harbouring aliens for profit.

Those charged include:

• Bharath Kakireddy, 29, of Lake Mary, Florida.
• Aswanth Nune, 26, of Atlanta.
• Suresh Reddy Kandala, 31, of Culpeper, Virginia.
• Phanideep Karnati, 35, of Louisville, Kentucky.
• Prem Kumar Rampeesa, 26, of Charlotte, North Carolina.
• Santosh Reddy Sama, 28, of Fremont, California.
• Avinash Thakkallapally, 28, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
• Naveen Prathipati, 29, of Dallas.

Six of the international student recruiters faced a federal court in Detroit on Thursday, all chained at the ankles and wearing handcuffs.

The court ordered that the six recruiters be held without bond while they await trial.  The charges carry a penalty of up to five years in prison.

The students who were arrested face deportation.

US federal agents shut down the University of Farmington website on 31 January 2018

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