THE AMERICAN BAZAAR: 3 Indian Americans plead guilty to F-1 visa, financial aid fraud at colleges in New York and New Jersey

Career College Central Summary:

  • NEW YORK: Three Indian Americans – Suresh Hiranandaney, 61, Suresh Chabria, 54, and Anita Chabria, 51 – who ran shady and fraudulent for-profit schools in the New York City tristate area, have pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to criminal conspiracy charges for their involvement in student visa fraud and financial aid fraud schemes.
  • Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the guilty plea of the trio.
  • The trio each pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit student visa fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit student financial aid fraud.
  • They agreed to forfeit $7,440,000 of proceeds of the student visa fraud conspiracy to the United States government, and agreed to pay $1,000,000 in restitution to the United States Department of Education (“ED”) for losses from the student financial aid fraud conspiracy, according to the Justicew Department.
  • The defendants were arrested in May 2014, along with co-defendants Samir Hiranandaney and Seema Shah, following a long-term investigation by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, and ED’s Office of the Inspector General.
  • “Suresh Hiranandaney, Lalit Chabria, and Anita Chabira turned their for-profit schools into instruments of fraud to exploit our nation’s foreign student visa and domestic student financial aid programs for their own personal financial gain. Education fraud remains a high-priority focus of ours and we will prosecute all those who make a self-serving sham out of education,” said Bharara, in a statement.
  • The trio were associated with the Micropower Career Institute (“MCI”), a for-profit school with five campuses in New York and New Jersey, or the Institute for Health Education (“IHE”), a for-profit school located in New Jersey.
  • Suresh Hiranandaney was MCI’s President; his brother-in-law, Lalit Chabria, was MCI’s Vice President and IHE’s President; and his sister, Anita Chabria, was MCI’s Vice President.

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