'University' founder facing federal charges blocked from opening new Pleasanton campus

Susan Su set for trial on 2011 charges late this month

Even as she was facing charges for running a bogus university, Susan Xiao-Ping was working to set up another unaccredited university in the same Pleasanton location.

Su, 43, was indicted and her college, Tri-Valley University, was shut down after a 2011 raid by agents from Immigrations, Customs and Enforcement.

She will stand trial later this month on a 33-count federal indictment that includes money laundering, mail fraud and wire fraud as a result of the sting. Federal court documents claim Su ran an "elaborate fraud scheme" that netted millions of dollars from foreign nationals who hoped to become legal immigrants.

Those documents say that Su used profits from her scam to buy five properties, including two homes in Pleasanton raided by ICE, at 2890 Victoria Ridge Court and 1371 Germano Way.

But while she awaited trial -- and asking for donations to help her fight the federal charges against her -- Su made plans to start a new university at the same site as her previous endeavor.

A report from the state Attorney General's Office says that Su, using the name of someone else, filed paperwork in March 2012 to start Global TVU at a small office building in the 400 block of Boulder Court, the building she owns and the home of TVU.

Chang Gui Su, under penalty of perjury, filed the articles of incorporation paperwork with the state. The Attorney General's Office denied the application for a new uncredited university at the site.

Chang Gui Su also asked for and received permission on Feb. 28, 2012 from the city planning department to operate a continuing adult education program at the site for no more than 20 students, agreeing in the application to comply with all local state and federal laws. The planning department is charged with making sure the intended use complies with zoning at the site, and because that is a permitted use of the building, no CEQA review was required.

Articles of incorporation filed with the state "do not list Chang Gui Su as an owner or officer," the Attorney General's Office says in its denial. "Ms. Su is listed in the corporation's application as a member of (the) respondent's faculty."

The Attorney General's Office lists a host of reasons for denying Global TVU's application. Those include making false statements, failing to disclose that Susan Su was the actual applicant, and for acts of dishonesty, fraud or deceit.

The list of those acts, which was included as part of the denial, gives some insights into the criminal case against Susan Su.

In an interview with the Department of Homeland Security in January 2011, Su admitted, among other things, that she'd had her staff list false U.S. addresses to help students remain in the country, that she'd had staff falsify grades and that she'd falsified transcripts, letters, attendance sheets and federal forms in order to assist individuals in obtaining visas to be in the United States.

In the matter of about 18 months, the university went from having about 11 enrollees with F1 student visas to more than 1,500; students paid $2,700 per semester to study at TVU. The closure left dozens of people, mostly from India, unsure whether they'd be allowed to stay in the country.

Federal court documents say Susan Su and her university "made millions of dollars in tuition fees" for issuing visa-related documents that allowed foreign nationals to illegally become student immigrants. ICE officials say she and TVU made more than $3.2 million in the visa fraud scheme.

In her statement to Homeland Security officials, Su admitted making "large withdrawals" from the Tri-Valley University bank account that included nearly $37,000 to buy a Mercedes-Benz, a $30,000 gift to her daughters and $75,000 as a payment to her spouse.

In a separate civil lawsuit, federal attorneys called Tri-Valley University "a sham university" aimed at helping foreigners obtain illegal student visas. The lawsuit, which is pending, seeks forfeiture of four properties in Pleasanton and a fifth in Livermore that were allegedly bought with proceeds of the fraud. The government now considers the students to be victims of a fraud and not perpetrators.

The application to open Global TVU was denied late last month; Susan Su is set for trial in federal court on Sept. 29. She remains free on a $300,000 bond.

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Like this comment
Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of California Reflections
on Sep 6, 2013 at 9:42 am

And why is she still in this country. She should be ordered to pay restitution and sent back to her country of origin along with all her relatives.

Like this comment
Posted by ???
a resident of Amador Estates
on Sep 6, 2013 at 10:26 am

Based on her record, I hear that Obama and his fellow Congressional Democrats are now considering her for a top Federal Dept. of Education position.

Like this comment
Posted by Clueless?
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 6, 2013 at 10:45 am

How does the city approve a private school over the counter with a home address showing up on a convicted sex offender web page (Megan's List)?

I can't fathom how the city's community development department approved this bogus university a SECOND time after the Feds raided the building, arrested the owner and co-conspirators, and initiated a forfeiture action, and also if you look at the State of California website:

Entity Number: C3453083
Date Filed: 01/26/2012
Status: ACTIVE
Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
Entity Address: 1371 GERMANO WAY, NONE
Entity City, State, Zip: PLEASANTON CA 94566
Agent for Service of Process: SUSAN SU
Agent Address: 1371 GERMANO WAY, NONE
Agent City, State, Zip: PLEASANTON CA 94566 the time the city approved this over-the-counter, the 1371 Germano Way address also appeared on the city's webpage as a Megan's Law sex offender address in Pleasanton? Web Link

Just how incompetent can City Hall be?

Like this comment
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm

I wonder if she was running the "snakes in your yard " scam?? What an operator, once again somebody able to slip something past our city planners, I wonder if they are all related somehow to these "snakecharmers"?? Been living here a long time what's going on with this town??

Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm

This woman is a relentless reprobate, absolutely relentless.

I trust Ms. Su's future will include incarceration, fines, restitution to victims, and seizure of any property obtained using money earned through her illegal activities.

I also hope this serves as an important lesson for the city planning department.

Oh, and what is an "uncredited" university? Editors?


Like this comment
Posted by Why?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm

why hasn't she been deported? All the assets should be confiscated, her citizenship/residency in the US revoked, and she should be deported and prevented from entering the US again

Like this comment
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Deportation for Ms Su, confiscation of all those properties, and charges against everybody else involved, she wasn't doing this all by herself, you can't convince me those "students" didn't know what's going on, anything for a free pass into the USA. Chop , Chop PPD don't let these people get away !

Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Kolb Ranch Estates
on Sep 7, 2013 at 11:09 am

I'm seriously most shocked by the sex offender listing. WTH? How in the world did they ever get permission for even the first scam with a registered sex offender in the picture to prey on vulnerable foreign students.

Nelson Fialho and team have some explaining to do. Once, okay shame on her. But twice.......well you know the rest.

Like this comment
Posted by Clueless?
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm

I agree, Mom from Kolb Ranch. Also, reading the article, the city apparently has made false statements to the Pleasanton Weekly reporter stating that the Boulder Court location is zoned for a university campus. That is incorrect. Maybe the city can't read their own zoning code.

The city has approved this 'university' multiple times over the counter even though it never has had the proper zoning according to the online zoning code for Pleasanton on the city's website here. Web Link

Let's review: 4455 Stoneridge Drive - location 1: First of all, a in 2009 public meeting covered by the Weekly in February about 4455 Stoneridge Drive, city staff Fiahlo and Dolan never disclosed to the city council (who they treat with as some sort of adolescents attending junior high mock government day rather than actual elected officials) that the 'university' was there even though it had been there since mid-2008, 4455 Stoneridge Web Link had two signs on the door saying "Tri Valley University" at the time and had city staff traipsing in and out of the place due to parents contacting police with concerns about overcrowding and suspicious activity. The first location for Tri-Valley University, 4455 Stoneridge Drive where children attending Little Ivy League were a 'front' for the 'university,' was never zoned for a university campus but the city approved Tri-Valley University to operate over the counter at 4455 Stoneridge anyway. Jeb Bing wrote an article on it and if the city had mentioned the 'university' was there, I'm sure it would have been included in the Pleasanton Weekly article Web Link The city kept it quiet. Needless to say, the corner of Stoneridge Drive and Santa Rita is not zoned for 'university campus' but light industrial uses such as manufacturing, assembly, publishing, photographic processing, etc. listed under the Pleasanton Municipal Code under the I-P district. Conditional Use Permits (CUP) are required for churches, fortune telling, nurseries, recycling, restaurants, garden centers, etc. The city gave them over the counter approval to operate there even though the zoning does not allow it.

Next stop --Location 2: School District headquarters at the corner of Bernal and First Street, where administrative personnel work, near infants at Horizon High, students at Village High, small children at the PUSD daycare site, where they moved from July 2009 to July 2010, during which time Su filed a police report with the Pleasanton Police Dept that she was getting death treats. Su posted on multiple immigration forums online under the username Risingsun and uuu12345 (with many angry people responding it was a fraud) indicating that PUSD was in charge of all adult education in Pleasanton including Tri-Valley University. It is zoned P for Public and Institutional. Private colleges are not allowed in this district, but public colleges are if you get a CUP, yet the city allowed her to operate there, death threats and all (and I'll bet the city manager Fiahlo and the PPD (Mike Fraser was police chief at the time) never told Ahmadi or the PUSD school board about the death threat police report filed with the PPD regarding school administrative headquarters). If she had been told about the death threats, don't you think she would have moved students out of this location?

BTW -- Google Risingsun and uuu12345 to get an idea of what was happening at the time.

Next stop--Location 3. 405 Boulder Court, Suite 700/800. Again, this location is not zoned for a university campus. Trade schools are allowed, but not university campuses. So again the city gave Su permission to operate as Tri-Valley University and Global TV University, with over the counter permits, even though it is not a Trade school unless you consider a "Trade" school trading cash for F-1 visas.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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