First student to plead in Chinese test-taking scandal deported

By Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

July 29–A Chinese student in Boston who admitted to cheating to try to get into American graduate school programs was sentenced today to probation and immediately turned over to immigration authorities to be deported to China.

“I wasted a lot of time and money for my stupid decision,” Biyuan Li, 25, told U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti. “I will forever regret my decision.”

The judge sentenced Li to five years of probation for procuring a fake passport to have someone else take a graduate school entrance text for him to get intoCarnegie Mellon University and other elite schools. She then immediately signed an order agreed to by his lawyer and the government to send him back toChina.

The probationary term would apply if he ever re-enters the U.S.

Li, an only child who graduated from Northeastern University with a finance degree, was among 15 Chinese nationals charged in May in the U.S. and Chinawith scheming to have impostors take college and grad school exams using doctored passports.

He was the first to plead guilty. He said his decision to cheat will bring shame on his family and impact his future career.

Earlier in the day, a lead defendant in the scheme pleaded guilty to his role as an organizer.

Han Tong, 24, who gained admittance to the University of Pittsburgh in 2011 by having someone in China take an English test for him, admitted that he either took entrance tests for others or found impostors to take the tests, each time using counterfeit passports manufactured in China and sent to him in Oakland.

He pleaded to conspiracy, making and using a forged passport and wire fraud.

The U.S. attorney’s office said he worked with someone in China identified as “Ada” to take tests himself or recruit associates to take tests for Chinese students trying to get into American schools using fake passports as identification.

“When Ada had a client who had contacted her to have a test taken for them, Ada would arrange for the test to be taken at whatever location she had personnel, like Tong, available,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney James Kitchen. “Ada also provided Tong with the contact information of a document maker inChina who could create fake identification documents, such as passports, for use in defrauding the test administration service.”

The document maker used a picture of Tong or another impostor who would take a test but included the name and identification information of the person who was supposed to be taking the test.

Mr. Kitchen said Tong also worked on his own, independent of Ada, to find his own clients in the Pittsburgh region.

In all, he admitted that he had a ring of five to seven test-takers that he used to take 10 fraudulent tests, for which he was paid $2,000 for each. Federal agents also seized seven fake passports from him or that were being sent to him.

Tong is set to be sentenced in November and remains free until then. His lawyer refused comment, but in court he said Tong has finished three years of college at Pitt and is hoping to complete his degree at Ohio State University before returning to China.

It’s not clear what the U.S. attorney’s position is regarding that plan, although Tong is now a convicted felon.

Torsten Ove:


(c)2015 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

pdf_rtf_top mobile-amservice-logo