BOSTON (Reuters) – A Chinese college student was arrested on Monday in the latest case to stem from U.S. investigations into international students who authorities say hire imposters to take exams on their behalf to gain admission to American universities.
Xinyan Wang, a student at Lehigh Carbon Community College in Pennsylvania, on six different occasions since July took college entrance exams under other peoples’ names, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Boston.
Wang, 27, most recently on Oct. 20 in Boston took the GRE admissions exam for graduate school using a counterfeit Chinese passport and a visa in another person’s name that contained photos that resembled her, according to charging papers.
Wang was arrested in Pennsylvania on charges that she committed visa fraud and used a false passport, according to court records. A lawyer for Wang could not be immediately identified.
Amid an increasingly affluent population, more Chinese students have been enrolling in U.S. colleges and universities, attracted by the prospect of a prestigious American education and good jobs.
The number of Chinese students studying in the United States in the 2016-17 academic year rose by 6.8 percent to 350,755, the Institute of International Education reported on Monday.
U.S. authorities said that in some instances they have identified schemes in which foreign students, unable to pass college entrance exams, hire imposters to take them in their place in order to apply for admission to American schools.
In May, federal prosecutors in Boston charged four women from China who they said sought to cheat on entrance exams used to gain admission to American universities and colleges.
Prosecutors said one of the women was paid to take the TOEFL, the English-language exam used to assess foreign applicants, for the other three women. Three of the four women have pleaded guilty.
Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; editing by Diane Craft