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ICE Arrested 250 Students under DHS Fake University in Michigan USA


 Michigan,USA, Dec 02, 2019 Singh Grewal

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement- ICE Arrested 250  Students under DHS Fake University in Michigan USA

  • Many of them Indian nationals arrested for immigration violations and faced deportation
  • 8 Indian recruiters jailed who accepted more than $250,000 in kickbacks for their work

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) set up a fake university under name of The University of Farmington and advertisement for STEM students who wanted to enroll and not “interrupt their careers,” had a fake name, a fake website and a fake motto on its fake seal. “Scientia et Labor,” the seal said, which means “Knowledge and Work.”

  • The fake university was set up in 2015 but that HSI agents didn’t begin posing as university officials until 2017, according to the indictment.
  •  The undercover operation, called Paper Chase, ran for several years before the January indictments.
  •  Nearly 80% were granted voluntary departure and departed the United States.
  •  20% were ordered removed by an immigration judge

From the outside, the University of Farmington and it’s website looked legitimate and it took 10 months, unsealed court filings reveal that the school’s “staff” actually consisted of undercover agents from the Department of Homeland Security, to lure foreign-born college students who were trying to stay in the country on student visas that might not have been legal. According to website, the number of languages spoken by its four president.

  • Tuition was set up very Tuition was relatively reasonable about $8,500 a year for undergraduates and $11,000 a year for graduate students.
  • An email from the university's president, named Ali Milani, told students that graduate programs' tuition is $2,500 per quarter and the average cost is $1,000 per month.
  • But there were no classes taking place at the university, which employed no instructors or professors. No quad or library in sight.
  • According to Prosecutors , it was set up by the government, “being used by foreign citizens as a ‘pay to play’ scheme.”
  • All Students would pay thousands of dollars to the university, then provide immigration authorities with evidence that they were enrolled in a full-time educational program.
  • The students had entered the United States legally on F-1 visas after being accepted to legitimate schools and had later transferred to the University of Farmington.
  • They could then continue to live and work in the United States under a student visa.

Many of the students had enrolled with the university through a program known as Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which allows students to work in the U.S through a F-1 visa program for foreign students. Some had transferred to the University of Farmington from other schools that had lost accreditation, which means they would no longer be in immigration status and allowed to remain in the U.S. 

About 250 students have now been arrested since January on immigration violations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), mostly from India, to attend the school that marketed itself as offering graduate programs in technology and computer studies.

ICE told Media, “Undercover schools provide a unique perspective in understanding the ways in which students and recruiters try to exploit the non-immigrant student visa system and it provide the Department of Homeland Security with “first-hand evidence of fraud.”

8 Indian recruiters Arrested:

Local Media reported that dozens of University of Farmington students ( many of them Indian nationals)  were arrested for immigration violations and faced deportation.  Ten months ago eight people who allegedly worked as “recruiters” for the school and collectively helped at least 600 students remain in the country under false pretenses were charged with federal conspiracy.

Most of the students were from Telugu-speaking regions of India in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

According to Detroit ICE spokesman, 7 -8 Indian recruiters, aged between 25-35 have pleaded guilty.

  • Authorities said in the original charging documents that they collectively accepted more than $250,000 in kickbacks for their work, not realizing that the payments were actually coming from undercover agents who worked for Homeland Security Investigations, a division of ICE.

They have been sentenced to prison time:

  • Santosh Sama, 28, of Fremont, Calif., 24 months; Avinash Thakkallapally, 28, of Harrisburg, Pa., 15 months; Aswanth Nune, 26, of Atlanta, 12 months; Naveen Prathipati, 26, of Dallas, 12 months; Barath Kakireddy, 29, of Lake Mary, Fla., 18 months; Suresh Kandala, 31, of Culpeper, Va., 18 months
  • Phanideep Karnati, 35, of Louisville, will be sentenced in January 2020
  • All eight recruiters will be deported once they have served their sentences

Prem Rampeesa, 27, was sentenced one year in prison

  • Rampeesa arrived in the U.S. legally a few years ago on a student visa
  • He earned in 2016 a master's degree in computer science at Northwestern Polytechnic University. But the university later lost its accreditation, which put his immigration status in jeopardy. He had spent $40,000 in tuition and fees for his studies at the university. 

  • Rampeesa wrote a letter to the court pleading for leniency that was read before the judge. A Telugu-speaking translator was at his side in court, translating the courtroom proceedings.
  •  He said he was trying in the U.S. after his previous university's loss of accreditation made his master's degree "worthless."
  • "I am ashamed," Rampeesa wrote. "I made a very bad decision" to recruit students that "bought shame to my family name."


The website was taken down on Jan. 31, 2019 after a federal indictment was unsealed on Jan. 30. The website for the fake university now contains a logo for the investigative unit of ICE and reads: "The University of Farmington has been closed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."