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Fullerton Pastor Sentenced In Scheme To Sell Student Visas

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SANTA ANA (CBS) — A Fullerton pastor was sentenced to a year in prison and another year in home confinement for using his religious university as a front to sell student visas.

Samuel Chai Cho Oh, 66, of Garden Grove, pleaded guilty Jan. 13 to 10 counts of immigration visa fraud and two counts of money laundering.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landa Reports

Under the plea agreement, Oh also has to turn over his “university,” valued at $3.8 million, and two bank accounts containing $418,000 to the federal government.

Oh told the judge, via a translator, that he was very remorseful for what he had done.

“I am deeply embarrassed for my wrongdoing and I feel deeply remorseful,” Oh said. “I’d like you to know this case is a big chapter in my life that I deeply regret and wish I could undo.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Keenan sought a two-year prison term for Oh, who will be put on three years of supervised release once he is out of custody.

Oh is pastor of the Union Church on the university’s campus at 905 S. Euclid St. The university was largely bogus, with some of the classrooms being subleased to other educational institutions, Keenan said after today’s sentencing.

About 330 “students” were enrolled at the time of Oh’s arrest in December 2009, according to the prosecutor, who said they hailed from about 20 countries but mostly from South Korea.

They would pay Oh anywhere from $600 to $10,000 for help in obtaining student visas so they could stay in the country, but they didn’t attend any classes, Keenan said.

Oh, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is a Presbyterian minister.

SANTA ANA (CBS) A Fullerton pastor was sentenced to a year in prison and another year in home confinement for using his religious university as a front to sell student visas.

Samuel Chai Cho Oh, 66, of Garden Grove, pleaded guilty Jan. 13 to 10 counts of immigration visa fraud and two counts of money laundering.

Under the plea agreement, Oh also has to turn over his “university,” valued at $3.8 million, and two bank accounts containing $418,000 to the federal government.

Oh told the judge, via a translator, that he was very remorseful for what he had done.

“I am deeply embarrassed for my wrongdoing and I feel deeply remorseful,” Oh said. “I’d like you to know this case is a big chapter in my life that I deeply regret and wish I could undo.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Keenan sought a two-year prison term for Oh, who will be put on three years of supervised release once he is out of custody.

Oh is pastor of the Union Church on the university’s campus at 905 S. Euclid St. The university was largely bogus, with some of the classrooms being subleased to other educational institutions, Keenan said after today’s sentencing.

About 330 “students” were enrolled at the time of Oh’s arrest in December 2009, according to the prosecutor, who said they hailed from about 20 countries but mostly from South Korea.

They would pay Oh anywhere from $600 to $10,000 for help in obtaining student visas so they could stay in the country, but they didn’t attend any classes, Keenan said.

Oh, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is a Presbyterian minister.

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