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Telugu Students Held In Fake US University Sting

Telugu Students Held In Fake US University Sting

The department of Homeland Security set up a fake university in Michigan to crack down on illicit operations allowing foreign citizens to stay in the U.S. illegally, according to federal indictments unsealed Wednesday.

Starting in 2015, the fake university was part of an undercover operation to identify recruiters and others engaging in immigration fraud, the indictments say, according to The Detroit News.

The University of Farmington had no staff, no instructors, no curriculum and no classes but was utilized by undercover Homeland Security agents to identify people involved in immigration fraud, according to federal grand jury indictments unsealed Wednesday.

Eight student recruiters were charged with participating in a conspiracy to help at least 600 foreign citizens stay in the U.S. illegally, according to the indictments, which describe a novel investigation that dates to 2015 but intensified one month into President Donald Trump's tenure as part of a broader crackdown on illegal immigration.

Most of the recruiters and students involved are originally from Telugu States, India, according to prosecutors.

Bharath Kakireddy, 29, of Lake Mary, Florida.
Aswanth Nune, 26, of Atlanta.
Suresh Reddy Kandala, 31, of Culpeper, Virginia.
Phanideep Karnati, 35, of Louisville, Kentucky.
Prem Kumar Rampeesa, 26, of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Santosh Reddy Sama, 28, of Fremont, California.
Avinash Thakkallapally, 28, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Naveen Prathipati, 29, of Dallas.

The eight defendants have all been arrested.

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Tags: Department of Homeland Security MICHIGAN Telugu Students US University Sting