For five years, the founder of a now-defunct Charlotte, NC, school rigged the enrollment and immigration records of dozens of international students in return for bribes from basketball coaches and recruiters, court documents show.
Federal prosecutors say the rigged system qualified the students for visas to stay in the country and kept them off the radar of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, commonly known as ICE.
Evelyn Mack, the founder of the school, has been charged and sentenced as a result. She will now spend the next 18 months behind bars.
The government said Mack set up a private school in Charlotte -- the Evelyn Mack Academy -- and used it to promise foreign teens they would play at a prominent school with scholarship offers.
Instead, prosecutors said those athletes vanished in the hands of recruiters and basketball coaches. Some reappeared in towns more than 100 miles away and others were missing for months.
For her efforts to mislead immigration authorities, prosecutors say Mack received bribes of around $75,000. Those kickbacks used to hide 75 foreign students.