A Georgia Tech professor, along with an accomplice in New Jersey who is a senior executive at the Chinese-owned telecommunications company ZTE USA, have been indicted over a scheme to fraudulently obtain visas to allow Chinese nationals entry into the U.S. for purposes other than what the visas were intended for, Breitbart reported.
Georgia Tech professor Gee-Kung Chang, 73, and ZTE USA Research Director Jianjun Yu,53, both face felony charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and actual wire fraud.
Exploiting America’s benevolence
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Georgia, the two men were indicted by a federal grand jury on March 18 and had already been arraigned on those charges by a U.S. magistrate.
“The defendants allegedly abused the visa program and deceived Georgia Tech to bring researchers into the United States,” acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said in a statement. “The charges presented are the first step toward holding them accountable.”
FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Chris Hacker said, “The United States welcomes academics and researchers from across the globe, but we cannot allow anyone to exploit our benevolence. That’s what these defendants are accused of doing and now they will be judged.”
“Schemes like this not only steal invaluable opportunities from legitimate, hard-working students it also allows scammers to come to the United States and profit from their misdeeds,” said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger.
“Identifying, arresting, and prosecuting violators is vital to protect the integrity of our nation’s visa program,” she added.
Visas fraudulently obtained
According to the press release, the scheme involved the exploitation of J-1 visas to fraudulently obtain entry into the U.S. for Chinese nationals who were employed at ZTE and worked in New Jersey.
J-1 visas are limited to specific work-and-study programs for foreign exchange students at certain sponsor institutions, such as Georgia Tech, and are not at all intended to be used as general work visas for foreign nationals, explained local Fox affiliate WAGA.
Chang, allegedly abusing his position at the university, worked to arrange for J-1 visas to be granted to Chinese nationals that would purportedly engage in research studies at Georgia Tech. Instead, those individuals ended up working at ZTE USA in New Jersey, even while fraudulently drawing a salary from the school in some cases.
As noted by Breitbart, in a speech delivered at Georgia Tech only a few months ago, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of the furtive efforts by China to exploit our nation’s immigration and visa systems for the advancement of their own agenda.
Time will tell if these criminal charges are pursued, or if President Joe Biden’s Justice Department, with an eye toward Biden’s obvious rapprochement with China, will sweep the case under the rug.