Chinese Accused of Using Impostors for College Test

By Bidgood, Jess | International New York Times, May 30, 2015 | Go to article overview

Chinese Accused of Using Impostors for College Test


Bidgood, Jess, International New York Times


The indictment sketches a scheme in which impostors using fake Chinese passports took the exams at testing sites in the Pittsburgh area.

Fifteen Chinese nationals have been accused of cheating the college entrance examination system in the United States with a scheme that involved fake passports and test-taking impostors, according to an unsealed federal indictment.

The 35-count indictment, which was returned on May 21 in the Western District of Pennsylvania, sketches out a complex scheme in which certain individuals are accused of paying impostors using fake Chinese passports to take college entrance exams, mostly at testing sites in the Pittsburgh area, including the SAT and the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or Toefl, in the hope of using them to gain admission to American colleges.

David J. Hickton, the United States attorney for the District of Western Pennsylvania, said some of the defendants were admitted to universities around the country, which would have helped them qualify for student visas necessary for entrance into the United States. "If they are in fact not supposed to be students of the American college because their admission was fraudulently obtained, then their visa has been fraudulently obtained as well," Mr. Hickton said in an interview.

The people charged paid nearly $6,000 in some cases, the indictment, unsealed Thursday, said.

The charges include conspiracy, counterfeiting foreign passports, wire fraud and mail fraud.

Only 12 of the accused were identified. Ten reside in the United States and two in China. Mr. Hickton said he hoped that Chinese officials would cooperate with his office.

Suspicions about international students cheating on American university entrance exams have swirled in recent years. Last fall, for example, test scores of thousands of students from China and South Korea were temporarily withheld while test officials looked into suspicions of cheating. …

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