After an attempt to cheat his way into the graduate schools of top universities — including Penn and others in the Ivy League — Biyuan Li has found himself ordered deported back to China.
Li was sentenced to five years probation and deported to China immediately for his part in a large college admissions testing scam, Reuters reported Wednesday. Li was convicted by a federal judge on counts of conspiracy, making and using forged passports, wire fraud and mail fraud, court documents reveal.
Li pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in July 2014, court documents show. Authorities say he contacted a service based in China so that he could have an imposter take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE); Li sent his Chinese passport to the service so that a fraudulent copy could be manufactured for the imposter’s use.
Further, Li attempted to have the exam results sent on his behalf to many top American graduate programs at schools such as Penn, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Northwestern, Brown and others, the documents revealed.
The imposter who took Li’s exam, Han Tong, is the named lead defendant among many others due to his role in organizing a ring of fraudulent testing, Reuters reports. Authorities say Tong, who pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, set up at least 10 fraudulent exams and obtained seven counterfeit passports for imposters to use, Reuters adds.
Tong himself reportedly used fake exam scores obtained through the Chinese service to get accepted into the University of Pittsburgh, where, once accepted, he helped run the operation from the United States. For four years between 2011 and 2015, the paid imposters organized by the service allegedly took fraudulent SAT, GRE and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exams, Reuters reports.
The imposters and those they claimed to be were all charged in the alleged scheme, Reuters adds. Tong himself awaits a November sentencing date, Reuters reports, at which point he could face a maximum of 55 years in jail in addition to a financial hit of up to $1 million,