0

Visa fraud scheme uncovered

NORCROSS - Two employees of Edgewood College of Georgia Inc. in Norcross were indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on charges of conspiracy, immigration document fraud and money laundering.

The previously sealed indictment was unsealed Thursday after the arrests.

According to the indictment, Sheng Feng Sun, aka Joe Sun, 45, of Roswell and Sang Hun Oh, aka Michael Oh, 35, of Norcross, were involved in a money laundering and fraudulent visa scheme to sell, for a fee of $10,000, non-immigrant visas to nonqualifying aliens from May 2003 until January.

Sun and Oh worked for Edgewood College, a vocational school in Norcross.

Sun was the college's principal officer and sole registered agent and Oh worked as the financial and accounting agent.

Kenneth Smith, a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Atlanta, said Sun and Oh were preparing fraudulent applications for aliens to find work and come into the country.

The indictment said the H-1B non-immigrant visa program would "allow an employer to temporarily employ a foreign worker in the United States in a specialty occupation."

According to a press release issued by Patrick Crosby, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, the false visa applications claimed Edgewood College intended to employ the aliens in skilled labor positions, but in fact the aliens had no association with the college.

"(Sun and Oh) were using false information in the forms they were submitting," Smith said. "The workers the forms were for never worked for the college."

According to the indictment, Sun and Oh issued paychecks from the college to the aliens. Those people were then obligated to return the money, plus a fee of $500 to $800 to be paid monthly to Sun and Oh.

"This was for pure financial benefit," Smith said of Oh and Sun's alleged scheme.

Smith said some of the aliens involved were living in the United States and others lived outside the country, trying to come to the U.S.

"Those who were seeking the benefit of this knew they weren't working for the school," he said. "They knew what they were doing."

Sun and Oh face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for the conspiracy charge. Each of the four counts of visa fraud carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each of the 12 money-laundering counts holds a 20-year maximum prison sentence and $250,000 fine.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of all the funds received throughout the alleged scheme.