The fate of Herguan University in Sunnyvale, Calif. is uncertain after its CEO was arrested and charged with 15 counts of visa fraud on Thursday, according to The San Jose Mercury News.
Jerry Wang, 32, is alleged to have lured international students to his unaccredited school by using fraudulent documents to obtain visas. Notably, Herguan's 450-member student body consists overwhelmingly of foreign students from India.
The crimes could land him a 23-year prison sentence and cost him more than $1 million in fines.
The indictment poses a serious threat for the university's international population. If the school closes, these students will either have to rapidly transfer to a new university or return to their home countries without a degree.
While not accredited, the university operates three masters programs with approval of the California Department of Consumer Affairs' Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, which does not accredit universities.
Last year, the president of Tri-Valley University Susan Xiao-Ping was arrested for also submitting fraudulent documents in order to admit international students on student visas. An investigation revealed that Su was charging students tuition but not requiring them to attend class, and students were actually spread out across the nation.
The Chronicle of Higher Education reported last year that Tri-Valley was exploiting loop-holes in visa laws to make millions from a boom in international higher education.