PLEASANTON (CBS SF) – The president of a defunct online university described by authorities as a sham has been convicted of creating a front for foreign students seeking to establish U.S. immigration status.

Susan Xiao-Ping Su, 43, was convicted Monday of charges including mail fraud, visa fraud and money laundering.

Prosecutors said the former president of Tri-Valley University netted $5.9 million while running the “Christian higher education institution” based in Pleasanton. Students, mostly Indian nationals, paid $2,700 a semester in tuition for visa-related documents that purportedly allowed them to live and work in the country with a student immigration status.

The unaccredited online university was founded by Su in 2008 and was shut down in March 2011 on the order of the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education, according to the university’s website.

In a one-page announcement on the website, Su said at the time that, “The final message from Ms. Su as TVU’s President is an ENCOURAGEMET (sic) to you all to MOVE ON!”

Prosecutors say Su used the money she made to buy luxury cars and real estate.

Sentencing is set for June 20.





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