TACOMA — Federal prosecutors say an Oregon man who devised a student loan scam and preyed on Russian immigrants in financial difficulties has been sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison for bank fraud.
The U.S. attorney's office says the loss from the scheme exceeds $900,000.
Prosecutors say 35-year-old Alexander Sviridiuk of Happy Valley, Ore., was sentenced Tuesday in Tacoma, Wash.
Court records say he advertised in the Russian immigrant community, saying immigrants could get cash by applying for student loans, without needing to actually go to college. He and his cousin applied for loans, saying each immigrant planned to attend Washington State University or the University of California at Irvine. Email registration was used to convince the bank funding the loan that the person was enrolling in school. Once the money was delivered, the applicant would quickly withdraw. Sviridiuk took a percentage of the loan money.
He was convicted last October. His cousin has pleaded guilty.