ESL Teacher Indicted for Stealing Tens of Thousands From Student Visa Holders
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced on April 6, 2015, the indictment of Jenetta Ferguson, an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher, for allegedly stealing tens of thousands of dollars from European and Asian student visa holders by misleading the victims and falsely promising to provide them with green cards in exchange for cash payments. The defendant was charged in an indictment in New York State Supreme Court with grand larceny in the third and fourth degrees, as well as scheme to defraud in the first degree.
The defendant’s alleged victims include individuals from Italy, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines, who were residing in the U.S. on student visas. According to the indictment and documents filed in court, Ms. Ferguson taught ESL at a school in Manhattan. Between March and September 2014, she allegedly approached the students and falsely informed them that she could provide them with green cards in exchange for a fee, charging between $8,500 and $10,500 per person. However, instead of providing the promised documents to these individuals, Ms. Ferguson allegedly kept the money, which amounted to more than $30,000 from at least six victims.
The indictment also charges that the defendant encouraged many of the victims to refrain from renewing their student visas, leaving many without adequate documentation once their visas later expired.
- The announcement of the indictment
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate in the New York Office played a key role in the indictment. The related USCIS release