Washington: The US is reviewing India's plea to fairly view the cases of over 1,000 Indian students hit by the "horrible" visa scam at the now-defunct Tri-Valley University in California, a top American official has said.

Earlier this week, Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao, in a letter, had urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to view the cases of Indian students affected by the closure of "sham" Tri-Valley University in a "fair and reasonable manner".

"She has, and we are reviewing that letter, and we intend to answer it," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at her daily news conference here on Wednesday evening.

As of October 19, out of the 1,500 former Tri-Valley University students, 435 were approved to be processed for transfer to other universities, she said, adding that in the remaining cases, the efforts are on.

Nuland acknowledged that this was a "pretty horrible visa scam", where a fake university petitioned and got visas for a bunch of students to come over to study in the institute which then actually turned out to be a fake educational organisation.

As a result, federal authorities had to close down Tri-Valley University on January 11, she said.

"We have also been working very hard, as we have told Indian authorities to try to find other places in the US for these students who got scammed," she said.

The State Department, Nuland said, issues visas on the basis of documentation that it gets from institutions in the United States.

"So when we became aware of this, we turned it over for judicial review, and as I said, this scamming institution has now been closed down by US justice authorities," she said.

Susan Xiao-Ping Su, the President of Tri-Valley University, was indicted by a federal grand jury in May on the allegations of visa fraud and money laundering that affected Indian students.

41-year-old Su, who also served as the school's Chief Executive Officer, is accused of engaging in a two-year scheme to defraud the Department of Homeland Security by submitting phony documents in support of Tri-Valley University's applications to admit foreign nationals on student visas.

(Agencies)