Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say Higgins was a central figure in the scheme that involved students from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Kuwait, Turkey and Qatar. Higgins charged up to $1,500 to hire people to take exams and do other classroom work for foreign students, and $1,000 to take mandatory English proficiency tests for them.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice said Higgins would use the students' IDs to get California driver's licenses. He and his associates would then pose as the students and take the exams.
Eight foreign students, suspected of being involved in the scheme, have been charged with visa fraud.
City News Service contributed to this story