Hundreds of “students” “attended” Fullerton's “California Union University,” a school with possibly no books or classes or teachers.
It was a school run by 66-year-old pastor Samuel Chai Cho Oh, who was sentenced on Monday to a year in prison and another year in home confinement for visa fraud and money laundering. The school, located on South Euclid Street, served as a shell to help foreign students stay in the country legally.
Young people from all over the world, but primarily South Korea, paid anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for a college diploma and $3,000 to $5,000 for fraudulent visa documents, the Orange County Register reports. As part of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, one student said she never took classes and that Oh told her to study at home or online. Another witness, who received a bachelor's degree in education from CUU, said Oh staged a graduation ceremony where students wore caps and gowns and received phony diplomas.
Authorities seized the building, along with $418,000 from Oh's bank accounts.
Many of the students are in the process of being deported.