Miami Language School Owner Busted for Visa Fraud

Foreign nationals never went to class but still got student visas


The owner of a South Florida language school will serve 15 months in prison for helping illegally obtain student visas for foreign nationals who never came to class.

Lydia Menocal of Miami pleaded guilty in June to conspiring to make false statements on immigration documents. She had faced up to five years in prison at her sentencing on Friday.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Menocal also must serve two years of supervised release and pay the U.S. the $600,000 she made from the conspiracy.

Federal immigration authorities say the investigation into Menocal's Florida Language Institute in Miami led to the arrest of 116 student visa holders who now face deportation.

Another school employee was sentenced to a year of probation for failing to report a felony.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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