DoD-funded university suspected of having Chinese military ties

UMT academic dean J. Davidson Frame, right, salutes his wife, left, UMT president Yanping Chen Frame.

A Department of Defense-funded school in Virginia has been at the center of federal probes concerning suspected ties to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

The University of Management and Technology in Rosslyn, Virginia, is reportedly ground zero for an investigation by a number of agencies, including the FBI, Justice Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

The school -which opened in 1998- claims to have over 5,000 graduates in the past 5 years and even has a campus in Beijing. While it claims to be “especially proud of our students stationed in US military bases around the globe,” in 2012, the taxpayer-funded institution, the president and dean’s home were raided twice in search for possible counter-intelligence issues.

In a series of photos obtained by Fox News, evidence of UMT president Yanping Chen Frame in a Chinese PLA Colonel’s uniform as well as photos of her American husband -J.Davidson Frame- saluting her has surfaced, drawing questionable motives from an institution that continues to collect federal funding and over $6 million in tuition assistance from the VA and DoD.

It’s a bad deal for the soldiers, and it’s a bad deal for the taxpayer,” said Stephen Rhoads, a military veteran turned whistleblower who collaborated with the FBI on the case. “Nobody’s getting what they paid for.”

Rhoads says that while he worked as a vet recruiter at UMT, the FBI approached him in regards to the raid.

“One of the first sentences she [Chen] ever threw out -after she found out I was an Army officer, was, ‘Well … I was a colonel in the army,’” Rhoads said. “During our first face-to-face encounter, absolutely … she did not deny it.”

When Rhoads probed further, Chen explained she had been in the PLA.

Unlike the United States Military (which defends the people of the US and upholds the US Constitution), the People’s Liberation Army is the militarized wing of the Chinese Communist Party, which requires all officers to be members of the aforementioned political entity.

In 1987, the now 64-year-old Chen came to the United States on a non-immigrant visa with her daughter, funded by the Chinese government to study at George Washington University. In 1999, she received a PhD in Public Policy, a year after UMT was founded.

Rhoads claimed that Chen hid her PLA ties on immigration applications. Upon further review by Fox News, the “Colonel” repeatedly denied PLA affiliation, including when ask if she had “ever been a member of, or in any way affiliated with, the communist party or any other totalitarian regime?”

Rhoads was repeatedly told by Chen to never bring up her PLA background.

“If somebody was wearing that uniform, I would say that there’s a very great likelihood that they were in the People’s Liberation Army,” said West Point graduate, defense author and Chinese military expert Dennis Blasko, who previously served as a military attache in China.

Blasko identified the PLA uniform as a 1980s era, stressing that the insignia can only be purchased with a certificate from the unit a PLA member belongs to.

Despite being alerted by the FBI, the Department of Defense continued to allow UMT to collect millions in funding.

“I let my management and the AUSAs [assistant U.S. attorneys] know about her renewal with DoD,” and FBI agent wrote Rhoads in an exchange. “Incredible.”

When asked about future funding and the warnings by the FBI, DoD chief of Voluntary Education Assistance Dawn Bilodeau referred all questions to Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Ochoa, who said that “In light of reports regarding University of Management and Technology (UMT), the Department is reviewing the DoD MOU signed between the institution and the DoD for compliance.”

Of the 20,000 students have studied at UMT, only 10,710 have earned degrees.

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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