Suspicious Company Dissolves Following NBC Bay Area Investigation Into Potential Student Visa Fraud

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Less than a week after NBC Bay Area published an investigation finding more than a dozen possible shell companies may have provided false employment records to thousands of foreign students, one of those companies filed paperwork in Nevada to legally dissolve.

New Beast L.L.C was one of 14 suspicious companies identified by NBC Bay Area and NBC News that collectively employed more than 5,000 foreign students through the F-1 Visa’s Optional Practical Training (OPT) program in 2017. The program allows foreign students studying in the U.S. with an F-1 visa to work in the country for up to three years in a field related to their area of study.

On Monday, a company officer for New Beast filed paperwork in Nevada to dissolve the company. Details about New Beast are hard to find – the company has no apparent website, business address, or phone number. And its ties to Nevada remain unclear. Both company officers listed in corporate records – Luyi Huang and Tianming Li – have no clear connections to the state.

Li and Huang graduated from the University of Southern California in 2016 and 2017 respectively, according to LinkedIn profiles for both men and an online resume for Li. Li’s resume lists New Beast as an employer between January and August of 2016, before he moved on to T-Mobile, where his resume says he worked as a software engineer. Li was then hired by Bay Area-based Cruise Automation, a self-driving car company acquired by General Motors in 2016, according to his on-line resume. A spokesperson for Cruise Automation said Li hasn’t worked at the company for nearly a year.

Huang’s LinkedIn profile says he was employed by Amazon since 2017 before being hired by Google in September.

NBC Bay Area was unable to reach either man for comment.

Google did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday from NBC Bay Area. The company also did not respond to multiple previous requests for comment during NBC Bay Area’s broader investigation. Huang appears to be the second Google engineer operating a suspicious company identified by NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit.

The other Google engineer, Jianfeng Yang, was the CEO of Mountain View-based CloudParticle, which employed more than 300 foreign students in 2017, according to ICE data. Yang’s home on a quiet Mountain View street is listed as the company’s business address, and CloudParticle has no apparent website or phone number. Yang formally dissolved the company earlier this year, just days after another Mountain View woman was arrested for visa fraud in connection to an alleged scheme to sell false employment records to thousands of foreign students.

Yang declined to speak about CloudParticle when reached by phone and in person by NBC Bay Area.

NBC Bay Area will continue to update this story as it develops.

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