Strayer University official convicted, sentenced for immigration fraud
A manager of McLean, Virginia-based Integrated Academics was convicted and sentenced Friday for conspiring to create fraudulent transcripts so foreign students appeared eligible to retain their student visas in the United States. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from the Internal Revenue Service, the Northern Virginia Community College Police Department and Strayer University.
Mohamad Yousef Tellawi, 34, of Falls Church, was sentenced to 22 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in the immigration document fraud conspiracy. Co-conspirators Lea Dzhin, 37, of Falls Church, and Maher Khudari, 28, of Arlington, previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy. Tellawi and Dzhin also were ordered to forfeit $265,000 in proceeds from the fraud, and Khudari was ordered to forfeit $30,747.65.
According to court records, Tellawi and Dzhin are managers of Integrated Academics, a company that caters to international students and touts itself as offering a full range of services for students, including securing college admissions and providing academic advising and tutoring.
From about November 2012 to October 2013, Tellawi and Dzhin conspired with Khudari, an admissions official at Strayer University, to fraudulently create at least 58 official Strayer University transcripts in order to help clients of Integrated Academics retain their F-1 non-immigrant student visas and remain in the United States. Tellawi would complete the necessary paperwork containing the fraudulent transcripts and meet with school officials on behalf of Integrated Academics' student clients. In addition, Tellawi and Dzhin would facilitate their clients' continued presence as student visa holders by hiring people to take online classes, write papers and take tests for the clients.
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