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Cerritos Resident Involved in College Admissions Scandal

BY BRIAN HEWS

The Rick Singer Hollywood admissions scandal has hit home here in Cerritos.

The L.A. Times reported that authorities arrested five California residents, alleging they took English proficiency for Chinese nationals to help them obtain student visas.

A 26-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury last week charging Mohan Zhang of Cerritos, and four others, with using false passports and aggravated identity theft to impersonate Chinese nationals in order to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language exam.

“Over 40 students were able to attend top-ranked colleges, including NYU, Columbia and UCLA,” said Homeland Security agent Christopher Kuemmerle.

“We have so many students that are honest and work hard to get into the university of their dreams and yet that spot was taken by someone who cheated,” said Kuemmerle.

The violations carry a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. The charge of using a false passport carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory consecutive two-year sentence.

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