Category Archives: Company information

Speak Holding (Lars Wollebekk) Denmark dissolved

Updated Nov 4, 2020

August 2019 Lars Henrik Wollebekk declared the Norwegian companies Language Education Norge A/S and Speak Norge A/S bankrupt. October 2017  Language Education Denmark A/S and Speak Holding ApS. In 2017 ELG: European Language Group, Sarl was also liquidated. Such bankruptcies create a unique problem when it comes to exchange students. In both 2019 and 2017 students had already been sent abroad to live with their host families. Since employees had not been informed ahead of time, they had to figure out what would happen with regards to the students abroad and the ones who were waiting to go. Abroad partner companies had to take the brunt. In Norway the company that handled the liquidations stated that nothing illegal had happened and that there was no reason for a company quarantine. I was asked by Wollebekk’s attorney to remove any private information regarding Wollebekk from my sites (and FB)*.

Another of Wollebekk’s exchange organizations, Speak Education Nordic AB (Language Education) in Sweden, was liquidated October 2020.

Only Speak Cultural Exchange UK Ltd. in England seems to remain as a purely student exchange organization with Wollebekk as owner. Indirectly tied to student exchange we find Norwegian Combank IT Systems AS. It is listed as designing net-based IT systems for (among other things) exchange organizations. In Denmark his Zaruben Capital ApS is listed as an advisory and PR company. However, exchange organizations are not specifically listed.

Lars Henrik Wollebekk’s companies
  • Speak Holding ApS – Dissolved
    • Language Education ApS, Denmark (Aspect High School) – Dissolved
    • Language Education Norge AS (Aspect High School)
    • Speak Norge AS
    • ELG: European Language Group, Sarl – Dissolved
      • Speak Cultural Exchange UK Ltd.
  • Speak Education Nordic AB
  • Combank IT Systems
  • European Language Group, USA
  • Advisory Board ApS (Zaruben Capital ApS)

*All of the information listed in this post is publicly available and of public interest as it pertains to the exchange industry and those wishing to participate in an exchange experience. 

Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory loses accreditation

In 2005, Tri-Valley Learning Corporation (TVLC) in California established  charter schools ranging from elementary school to high school. The high school is Livermore Valley Charter Preparatory (LVCP). About 90 foreign exchange students attend the school. Investigations into irregularities (see below) started February 2016. As a result of these investigations, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) withdrew LVCP’s accreditation*. The school district denied LVCP’s petition of charter renewal December 2016. LVCP is no longer listed as having SEVIS F-1 certification. The school has said that they will stop their student exchange program from July 2017.

3rd February 2016 Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) sent the Governing Board of the TVLC a Notice of Violation (NOV). Among other things, the NOV concerns the below violations with regards to LVCP’s exchange students.**  Media got hold of the information and several in-depth articles about this issue can be found on the net.

16th February 2016 two students were involuntarily transferred to a school in Stockton. Livermore Police Department and Stockton Police Department intervene. As more information comes to light the police begin investigating matters at LVPC. Alameda County District Attorney began investigations into allegations of fraud, mismanagement of its foreign exchange program and child endangerment.

Based on the Governing Board, Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District  Board‘s findings, LVCP’s accreditation as a foreign student exchange institution was not renewed for the school-year 2016/2017.

  • TVLC/LVCP charged illegal tuition/overreporting per – pupil expenses to Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS).
  • TVLC/LVCP attempted to transfer exchange students against their will to a school in Stockton.
  • TVLC/LVCP endangered the health and welfare of its students
  • TVLC/LVCP was dishonest in representing the scope and size of its foreign exchange program to the District.
  • TVLC/LVCP sought to obtain, through coerced written signature, an agreement from minor students to give up their legal educational rights without consulting their parents or guardians.
  • TVLC/LVCP established a charter school in China without
    notifying authorities or requesting revisions to its charter.
  • Fraud.

LVCP’s accreditation is not renewed. November 2016 TVLC file for bankruptcy at the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California (Oakland).

  • LVCP still lists itself as WASC accredited on its website.

** Copies of correspondence and reports between the parties can be found on LVJUSD’s site

Into Education Ltd / into GmbH / ISE (USA) John and Constanze Fisher

According to Into Education’s own Wikipedia page and their About pages they claim that the firm DLS was incorporated in the United Kingdom in 1976. I have not been able to find anything that substantiates that claim.

I do not know why details on Into’s own website deviate from the ones in the various commercial registers. I have tried really hard to find substantiation for each of their claims.

First time I encounter John Douglas Fisher and Constanze Fisher in any kind of business registry is through Constanze Fisher’s employment with the publishers Sharpe & Fisher Ltd. Sharpe & Fisher have been on the market since early 1900’s.

Bankruptcies UK

1986: In 1986 John Douglas Fisher and Constanze Fisher established Douglas Language Services Limited in England: 02053181: East Sussex. In 1987 its first name change was to Educational Services Abroad Limited. Next name change was in 1988 to Douglas Language Schools Limited. Then it was changed in 1992 to Into Study Tours Limited. In 1994 Into Study Tours Limited is listed as Dissolved.

  • 32 North Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 1DN, United Kingdom

1993: 02590268, Lipstick Records Limited was incorporated by John Douglas Fisher, Constanze Fisher and Swift Incorporations Ltd. Lipstick Records Ltd. was  dissolved in 1995.

2001: 04312219, Lipstick Limited. Lipstick Ltd. was founded by Constanze Fisher and John Douglas Fisher along with Temple Secretaries Ltd and Company Directors Ltd.

2007: 06421297, Proteedo Limited was established by John Douglas Fisher and Mr Frederik Sebastion Matthias Spiegel. In addition the firms (who seem to be involved in a lot of bankruptcy schemes) Temple Secretaries Ltd and Company Directors Ltd. were also involved in the setting up of Proteedo Ltd. Proteedo’s name was changed to Prozeedo Limited later in 2007. Prozeedo Limited was dissolved in 2010.

Companies listed as still running

1988: 02290833, Abaco Music Limited. Abaco Music Ltd. was incorporated by John Douglas Fisher and Constanze Fisher. Its name was changed to Abaco Media & Publishing LTD. in 1999. Abaco Media & Publishing Ltd. still seems to be up and running.

1997: Into Study Tours Limited ( 03434626) was incorporated by John Douglas Fisher, Constanze Fisher, Waterlow Secretaries Limited and Waterlow Nominees Limited. Its name was changed to Into Education Ltd. in 2000: 30 – 34 North Street, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 1DW.

Subsidiaries Into UK

  • 2005: INTO Education Ltd., organizační složka ( 27375722): Incorporated by John Fisher / manager: Ing. Hana Hercherová / / Tel: +420 233 322 991 / Email:
    –   Ing. Hana Hercherová is also part of the company Amefa Project Consultants
  • 2008: 993 277 053, Into Education Ltd. owns 100% of Into Education (Norway)
  • 2008: 516404-9867, Into Education Ltd. Uk – Filial (Sweden)
  • 2008: Into Education Ltd. Filial (Finland) ( 22306772) incorporated by Into Education Ltd. c/o Technopolis Tekniikantie 21YTJ, 02150 ESPOO
  • –   2013: into Education Oy ( 25620548) incorporated by John Douglas and Constanze Fisher. CEO: Taina Katriina Vainio
  • 2014: IE539425. Into Education Ireland Limited was incorporated by John Douglas Fisher and Constanze Fisher. There is also listed a company secretary without a name.

Bankruptcies Germany

1982: Inter-Study Tours GmbH ( HRB 1692 Siegburg) was established in Germany. Its name changed to into Inter-Study Tours GmbH, Schmerbachstr. 5, 53804 Much, Liquidated 2008, manager Ulrich Buschmann (also manager at the same address for 1A Soft Gesellschaft Für Computersysteme/Buschmann Concept – HRB 4245 – liquidated 2011/2013).

Companies still running in Germany

1986: In 1986 Mr. and Mrs. Fisher established the firm Douglas Sprachreisen für Schüler und Erwachsene GmbH / Douglas Reisen (HRB21993 Amtsgericht Köln) in Germany: Ostlandstr. 14, 50858 Köln, Fax: 02234/48960. It later changed its name to Douglas Schüleraustausch GmbH and then to INTO-Douglas Schüleraustausch GmbH. INTO-Douglas Schüleraustausch GmbH is the trade name of this company while into GmbH is its business name.

Subsidiaries Into Germany

2001: HRB 38387 Köln, ABACO Media Productions GmbH (Ostlandstr. 14, 50858 Köln, Germany). In 2008 ABACO changed its name to Prozeedo GmbH. ABACO was incorporated by John D. Fisher and Frederik Spiegel. Prozeedo seems to be in the publishing and photography business.

  • Prozeedo GmbH runs the technical bit for:
  • –   Apartments Cologne / CS Apartment, Köln, att: Cornelia Schmidt
  • –   denkgarage GbR, att: Frederik Spiegel & David White
  • –   Dieter Lauff
  • –   Into Schueleraustausch (GmbH)
  • –   Berns Consulting

–   DIKE_Entwicklung Sozialer Systeme

United States

1997: When Into speaks of their merger with an US firm I think they are speaking of Eurovacances Youth Exchange, Inc. Eurovacances (1439809) was founded in 1990 in New York at the address of 119 Cooper St Babylon, New York 11702-2319 United States. In 1997 Eurovacances changed its name to Into-Edventures Inc. (Craig Brewer). At the same address we find DM Discoveries (Diana Declemente), ASA International (Samuel Gibson) and International Student Exchange Inc. (Wayne Brewer)

2003: Into-Edventures Inc., DM Discoveries, ASA International and International Student Exchange Inc. were placed under management by the firm Student Management Group, Inc. ( 2918981) (Wayne Brewer).

2011: Into-Edventures Inc., ASA International and DM Discoveries were merged with ISE (International Student Exchange) Inc. ISE is one of the US groups Into Education uses most frequently. If Into did not withdraw from Into-Edventures at the time Into-Edventures were merged with ISE then Into Education is now part of International Student Exchange Inc. and Student Management Group/111 Property Management Group.

2004: In 2004 111 Property Management Group was incorporated ( 3044725). 111 PMG has its address at 119 Cooper St Babylon, New York 11702-2319, Tel: +1 631 422 1095, website:

2004: Virant LLC, Florida (L04000033085) incorporated by John Fisher and Constanze Fisher. Registering agents are Allure Accounting, Inc. – the only holder of the address: 3665 Bonita Beach Rd, Ste 1-3, Bonita Springs, FL 34134


Into Education's history

Student Management Group - ISE - Into Edventure - ASA International - DM Discoveries

Copied from

2011: Subsidiaries of EF Education First BV

Copied from my site:

Information was found in the Swedish Television program Uppdrag Granskning: Bertil Hult‘s source material list: 2011: Year end financial statement for EF Education BV

EF Education AG - subsidiaries 1

EF Education AG - subsidiaries 2

EF Education AG - subsidiaries 3

Aspect High School / Speak Education (Cultural Exchange) / Lars Wollebekk

Speak Holding ApS (2007)

  • Combank IT Systems (2000)
  • Language Education ApS, Denmark (Aspect High School) (1993)
  • European Language Group, USA (2003)
  • ELG: European Language Group, Sarl (2004)
    • Language Education Norge AS (Aspect High School) (1988)
    • Speak Norge AS (2000)
    • Speak Education Nordic AB (2006) (Language Education Sverige)
    • Speak Cultural Exchange UK Ltd. (2007)
  • Advisory Board ApS, Sweden (2011)



  • Lars Henrik Wollebekk = LHW = main character
  • Carl Eivind Wollebekk = CEW = LHW’s father
  • Vibeke Timm Gunthe Wollebekk = VTGW = LHW’s wife (?)

1988: ASSE Norwegian Educational Travel AS (948 156 989) is established in Norway by Svenska Statens Språkresor AB. It continues as Sweden’s international education project until 1997. At that time ASSE Norwegian Educational Travel AS is sold to Aspect Education Ltd. in the UK.

Joca Eiendom AS (868 061 642) is established in Norway in 1993 as a property management firm. Later on it becomes part owner in some of the companies below. Its main owners are CEW and JW. At this point in time LHW works for EF Education, up until 1999.

LHW takes over as managing director of the Danish subsidiary of Aspect Education Ltd., Aspect Education Denmark AS in 2000 and changes its name to Language Education Denmark A/S. At the same time LHW establishes Speak Europe AS (882 354 512) in Norway. Its original purpose was to arrange language courses, language travels and student exchange programs and other activities. Owners are LHW and Joca Eiendom AS. LHW also establishes Speak Norge AS (982 671 884)  in 2000. Speak Norge AS is the public face of Speak. Its current manager is LHW and European Language Group Sarl its current owner.

In 2001 the Norwegian branch of ASSE changes its name to Aspect Education Norway. LHW takes over management of the firm in 2002 and the name subsequently changes to  Language Education Norge AS. While this remains its official name, Language Education Norge/Danmark/Sverige are currently known as Aspect High School. and its owners are ELG Sarl.

Speak Europe AS changes its name to European Language Group AS in September 2003. CEW becomes manager and Chairman. VTGW is member of the board. Lars no longer has a visible role.

LHW kicks off European Language Group (US) LLC (200311510070) in California in 2003. The Swiss branch of ELG is founded in 2004 as  ELG European Language Group Sàrl (CH-660.1.042.004-9). ELG Sarl becomes management firm for the various concerns managed and owned by LHW. LHW is, in 2004, main shareholder in ELG Sarl. LHW later becomes only shareholder until he transfers all shares to Speak Holding Aps (below).

Speak Education Nordic AB (556698-2301) is established as a Swedish subsidiary to ELG Sarl in 2006.

Joca Ejendom Danmark Aps (30584244) is founded in Denmark in 2007. CEW remains manager of both the Norwegian and Danish branches and his email continues to be listed as

At this time LHW expands his company to England. In 2007 Speak Cultural Exchange UK Ltd. is established. Currently (2016), their offices are located in Margate, Kent. They are a subsidiary of ELG Sarl.

The financial crisis that hits the world in 2008 also affects LWH’s holdings. Slowly, sites that were available on the net disappear. ELG (US) and Speak Language Travel are listed as suspended in official papers.

In 2009 ELG AS changes its name to Combank IT Systems. Combank continues the function as management firm for the Norwegian branches of Wollebekk’s various companies. Main stockholders at this time (2016) are LHW and Joca Eiendom.

In 2011 LHW founds the Advisory Board Aps (33592124) in Denmark.  Its link,, has also gone down, but the company is listed as active.

2013 Speak Holding Aps (34891192) is established by LHW in Denmark.  2013: LHW tranfers his shares in ELG Sarl to Speak Holding Aps, yet remains in management in ELG. Speak Education offices are established in Denmark.

Why Wollebekk ties into Kaplan, Inc. in these phone pages I’m not sure.

(This article was updated March 14, 2016, and copied from CSFES Norway)

Father and son are also member of and chairman of Sameiet Holmenkollen 103 board.

Media / Student experiences:

2007/2008: Spionert på, mye kjeft, gikk gjennom tingene

Ikke seng, bytte flere ganger, manipulerende vertsforeldre, selvmord, kastet ut, ingen hjelp

2011 Oct 16: – Jeg var to minutter fra å reise hjem

2011/2012: Ikke lov å kontakte mor, truet, tar ikke ansvar, manipulerende

2014 Feb 07: Far: Min søns udvekslings- rejse var et mareridt: Paid extra to avoid Utah and Mormons. Was sent to Utah and Mormons.

2013/2014: Religionspress, mishandling, dobbeltrolle

Aspect Foundation / Aspect Education / Kaplan U.K.

Kaplan, Inc.

  • Kaplan UK Ltd.
    • Aspect Education Limited
      • Aspect Foundation, Inc
        • Aspect Cultural Exchange merged with AF



1985: Aspect Foundation, Incorporated California, C1265653, (non-profit), president Vivian Fearen

1998: Subsidiary of Sylvan Learning Systems:
(vi) To the knowledge of the Company, any of the Subsidiaries, or the Stockholders, after reasonable inquiry, each non-profit organization with which the Company or any of its Subsidiaries has entered into an Exchange Contract, including Aspect Foundation, Inc. and International Education Forum (“IEF”), …

2000: Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. sells Aspect Foundation, Inc. to Optagon Holdings Ltd. (name changed to: Aspect Educational Holdings Limited – Aspect Education Limited = Kaplan).
(viii) Aspect Foundation Inc. Such trustees and officers of Aspect Foundation, Inc. as are designated by Buyer to Sellers shall have tendered, effective at the Closing, their resignations as such trustees and officers, and individuals designated by Buyer shall be appointed to replace such trustees and officers.

2000: Aspect Cultural Exchange merged in with Aspect Foundation.

2006: Aspect Education Limited operates as a subsidiary of Kaplan U.K. Limited.

2009: Aspect Foundation (DBA Aspect Foundation), Incorporated Washington, 601403559, (non-profit), president Vivian Fearen Aspect Education UK Ltd /  211 Sutter St / 10th Floor / San Francisco, CA 94108 / Tel: (415) 228 8050 / Fax: (415) 228 8051 / takes you immediately to Registrant: Kaplan Inc. / 395 Hudson Street / New York, NY 10014 / Tel: (212) 492 5800 / Fax: (646) 365 3216 /


2009: BAR/BRI And Kaplan Class Action

2009 Jun 2: Welcome to America (Please Ignore the Dog Shit): S.F.-Based Foreign Exchange Student Organization Ensnared in Housing Scandal

2009 Jul 16: Exchange students live American nightmare

2009 Jul 23: Horror stories from exchange students placed by SF non-profit worker

Explorius Education / Educatius / Aiducatius / CETUSA / Tom O Ericsson

  • Educatius UK Ltd
    • FriSciFiUtbildningsfabrik AB
      • Explorius Education AB
        • Explorius Education AS
        • Explorius Education OY
        • Explorius Education ApS
      • Educatius Inc
      • Payius AB
      • Explore Tours Fair Travel Sweden AB
        • Explore Tours Alm Fair Travel Sweden AB
    • CET Management Ltd
      • CET International
      • CETUSA Inc
      • CET, Vancouver
      • DFSR, Germany
      • European Hotel Academy
    • AStudy Ltd
      • AStudy USA



1986-1991: Tom Ericsson worked for STS Travel Schools / Language Schools

1990-1999: United Educational Consultants International inc.

1991-1998: Aspect Inc. / Aspect International Language Schools / Aspect Language School SA – Hired 1991, TOE president 1998 of Aspect. (English language programs at 19 schools in five countries)

1997-1999: Travel Selections Inc., Tom Ericsson President

1990-1999: Educational Consultants International Inc., Tom Ericsson President

1998: Aspect Inc. / Aspect Foundation / Aspect Education were sold to Sylvan Learning Systems. Tom Ericsson remains with the company.

1999: Travel Selections Inc / Educational Consultants International Inc. merged into Aspect Education Inc.

2000: Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. sells the Aspect group to Optagon Holdings Ltd. (Kaplan). At this point Tom Ericsson leaves Aspect.

Tom Ericsson claims to have started Educatius in 2001. I have not been able to substantiate that claim. There was/is a firm called Educatius Handelsbolag (969675-1933) that was incorporated in Sweden but it is no longer registered as active. It is used as a domain address for

2003: Educatius UK Ltd (08555156 / 08553853)

2007: Educatius International – non-profit (Because this organization failed to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years, its exempt status has been automatically revoked by the IRS)

2008: FriFiSi Utbildningsfabrik AB, Sweden (556759-3123). FriFiSi functions as the management firm of the above Scandinavian Explorius companies and Explore Tours Fair Travel Sweden AB.

2010-2012: Attentio AB (556808-8560)

2010: Payius AB, Sweden (556819-1117): Online payments

2010: Explore Tours Fair Travel Sweden AB (556800-8311): Founded by Tom O Ericsson

  • 2013: Explore Tours Alm Fair Travel Sweden AB (556939-5592):

2009: Educatius Inc. – for-profit (Educatius is not part of the CSIET approved programs, enabling them to pay hosts money for boarding the students. The students come in under the F-1 visa program. That means that the DofS Regulations do not apply to them in the same sense as it does to others. There are State regulations that should apply instead.)

2011: CET International Inc. (C3354480)

2012: Educatius College & University Services Inc

2013: Educatius Cultural Exchange Programs Inc.

2013: Astudy Ltd (08547538) / Astudy USA (86096407) / Norway (275334) (could possibly end up at the site

2013: Innsamlingsstift Aiducatius (802477-8659)


Educatius host family application

Explorius High School Exchange Program application

2009 Nov 25: International students source of revenue for APS


2010 Dec 01: – Vertsmor kjørte bil i fylla og bad om penger

2010 Dec 08: – Explorius holder elevene som gisler

2011: Evaluations of DFSR

2012 Mar 08: Insight: Public schools sell empty classroom seats abroad

2012 Mar 15: Should Cash-Strapped Public Schools Sell Seats To Foreign Students?

2012 Aug 01: Cultural exchange programs boost local school revenue

2013 Jan 15: Educatius acquires for-profit CET entities

2013 Feb 18: Santa Barbara a Home Away from Home for Rising Number of International Students

2013 Jan 29: Worldnet selected by Payius AB as their International ‘White-label’ Payment Gateway Partner

2013 Apr 18: Utsattes för våldtäkts- försök på språkresan

2013 May 07: Saras, 16, värdfamilj drev en strippklubb

2013 Jun 24: Språkresan blev en mardröm

2013 Jul 30: Exclusive: Virtual Interview with Nauset Schools’ Dr. Richard Hoffmann

2013: Explore Tours evaluated by clients

2014 Jan 24: Mormon Ex-Bishop accused of luring teen boy

2014 Apr 03: Can International Students Save U.S. Public Schools?

2014 Apr 16: Mt. Lebanon School District might add international students to fortify budget

Forte (Group) International, Inc. / Forte International Exchange Association / Astar Education Institute

Forte Group International, Inc (FGI)

  • Astar Education Institute
  • Forte International Inc.
    • Forte International Exchange Association (FIEA)
    • Forte International Travel Inc.
  • Forte International Enterprise, Inc
    • Forte Shanghai Office
    • Forte Guangzhou Office



Forte International Inc. (DofC: 930278: 1993)

  • Business trips for private and public sectors in China and the US.
  • Owner: Mubiao Chen

National Press Building, 529 14TH ST NW # 270, Washington DC 20004
Telephone: (202) 628 8180 / (202) 833-4167 / Fax: (202) 296-8685

DC: 1901 Pennsylvania, Ave. NW. # 406, Washington DC 20006-340
Phone: 202-833-4185 / 703 237 1688 / Fax: 703 237 0889
Email: /

    Mubiao Biao Chen


Virginia: 7115 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia 22043
Telephone: 703-237-1688 (Shared with FIEA)
Website: /

  • President: Mubiao Chen
  • Helen Yang (Virginia): 202-628-8226

Bonmen International, Inc. (VA: 0518861: 1999)

In 2000 its fictitious name became Forte Group International, Inc (FGI).

  • Forte’s import/export business is dedicated to introducing goods and products into the Chinese market through branch offices in China. Bonmen’s principal office is at:

15080 Gaines Mill Cir Haymarket, VA 20169-4500
Tel: (703) 754-1606

  • President: Jean Chang: (703) 754-1606
  • Orion Richardson: (202) 833 9876 / (202) 628 8226 / (202) 296 8685
  • The Astar Education Institute shares office address.
    • Telephone: (703) 368-6838

Virginia: FGI (VA: 0735443, 2011)

Management firm for its subsidiaries.

7864 Donegan Dr., # 168, Manassas, VA 20109
Tel 703-368-6838 / Fax 703-368-6837

  • President: Jean Y. Zhang
  • Director: Ping Zhang
  • Pingzhang Llc

Also found at this address is:

On its website FGI lists as its USA Head Office:

  • National Press Building
    529 14th St. NW, Suite 270
    Washington, D.C. 20045, U.S.A
    Tel: (202) 628-8180
    Fax: (202) 296-8685
  • Beijing Office:
    Room 117, Building B, No. 40 Liangmaqiao Road, Beijing 100016, China
    Tel: (86) 10-6464-1516
    Fax: (86) 10-6466-4815
  • Shanghai Office:
    Shenergy International Building, No.1 Middle Fuxing Road 1903, Shanghai 200021,China
    Tel: (86) 21-6390-0890 / 6390-0896
    Fax: (86) 21-6390-0987

Forte International Enterprise, Inc. (FIE) (DC: 230487: 2003)

1901 Pennsylvania, Ave. NW. # 406, Washington DC 20006-340
Phone: 202-833-4185 / 703 237 1688 / Fax: 703 237 0889
Email: / Website:

  • FIE’s license in District of Columbia has been revoked.

Virginia: FIE (VA: F179868: 2009) FIE calls itself a consulting firm.

7115 Leesburg Pike Suite 217, Falls Church, VA 22043
Tel: (703)237-1688 / Fax:(703)237-0889

  • President: Mubiao Chen
  • Forte Shanghai Office
    Shanghai Jingan District
    Shimen Er Lu 333/3
    Suite C, 20th Floor, Shanghai, China 200041
    Tel: 021-6258-3347 / Fax: 021-6253-6928
  • Forte Guangzhou Office
    Guangzhou Shuiyin Erheng Lu
    Xingcheng Guangchang Plaza, Suite 1506, 15th Floor, Guangzhou, China 510075
    Tel: 020-3759-8640 / Fax: 020-3759-8493
  • Forte Beijing Office
    Beijing Chaoyang District, B1207, Zhubang, 100 Balizhuangxili
    Beijing, China 100025
    Tel: 010-8586-5598 / Fax:010-8586-5367

Forte International Travel

Forte International Travel has been advertising since at least 1994 and their phone number is the same as the number for Forte at the National Press Building phone number (202) 833 4167.

  • anita@forteintl

Forte International Exchange Association  (FIEA) (DC: 210958: 2001)

National Press Building, 529 14th St. NW, Suite 270, Washington, D.C. 20045
Tel: (202) 628-8180 / Fax: (202) 296-8685

  • Rebecca Huang:
  • Operations manager: Gaosheng Huang

FIEA’s license in District of Columbia has been revoked.

California ( C2461168):  Forte International Exchange Center was registered by Ronda Hertz in 2002. Its name was changed into FIEA in 2010.

  • President: Mubiao Chen (MB Cher) (keeps books and records)

Virginia ( F179769). FIEA was registered in Virginia in 2009 by Mubiao Chen. Principal address:

7115 Leesburg Pike, Suite 217
Falls Church VA 22043
PH: (703) 237 1688 | Toll Free: (888) 866 6869 | Fax: (703) 237 0889
Email: / Website:

  • President: Mubiao Chen
  • National Director: Diane Latvala: (571) 334 4779 / fax: (888) 524 8818 /
  • Responsible officer: Ava Chen: (703) 237 1688 /

Forte International at the Astar Institute
7864 Donegan Drive, Manassas, VA 20109.
Toll-free: 1-888-89-FORTE / Tel: 202-628-8226 / Fax: 703-368-6837
Kevin Boyle:
Elizabeth Marine:

Shanghai office

  • Shimen Er Lu
    333 Neng #3, Shanghai Jingan District, 200041, China
    Phone: +86 21-6258-3347 / Fax: +86 21-6253-6928

AStar Education Institute (VA: 0667243: 2006)

AStar lists itself as a Chinese-American company that offers ETS/ESL/TESOL testing site, citizenship classes, nursing assistant, computer skills.

  • United States
  • National Press Building
    529 14th Street, NW, Washington DC 20045, U.S.A.
    Tel: +1 703-368-6838 / Fax: +1 703-368-6837
    Website: Email:
  • Jasper Yang:
    • Host families receive monthly stipend
  • China
    Shenergy International Building
    No. 1 Middle Fuxing Road #1903, Shanghai, China 200021
    Tel: 021-6390-0896

    • Hainan Provincial Service Center for Scholarly Exchange

YFU/YFU USA – bankruptcy and resurrection in 2002

Subject: Have YFU USA changed their stripes?
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:43:38 +0200
From: Lise Almenningen <>
To:, James T Alexander <>, Brandi Duffy <>, Robin Lerner <>, Elizabeth Dickerson <>, Susan Geary <>, Hawkins S <>
CC:, Child-Safe International <>,,,,,,

Office of Inspector General:


YFU-USA, Inc. (previously YFU, Inc.)
Bankruptcy YFU 2002
YFU USA rises from the ashes 2002

Have YFU USA changed their stripes?

According to the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) own report number AUD/CG-02-12, December 2002 OIG’s Office of Audits conducted a review of nine grants awarded to Youth for Understanding, Inc. Due to the facts uncovered by OIG YFU filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 11, 2002 (shutting down operations on March 8, 2002).

On March 9, 2002 much of the same personnel (including Roberta Hopkins who helped set up the new company) working at the same offices begin a new firm called YFU-USA, Inc. They requested that the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) hand over all of the old grants to them so they might finish their responsibilities. At the same time YFU/YFU-USA ensures through their bankruptcy that they will not have to fulfill their financial obligations to ECA in spite of YFU owing to the US Govenment at the very least USD 315,793 (very likely more than USD 1,000,000). (Based on OIG’s report)

In addition, we see that YFU, Inc/YFU-USA, Inc. tried to get out of health insurance obligations through filing for their Chapter 11. (Risteen V. Youth For Understanding) The Court concluded that YFU USA was ”under the IRS COBRA regulations” a successor employer to YFU. The Court also issued a preliminary injunction ordering YFU-USA, Inc. to provide COBRA coverage to the employee.

According to Kal Goren’s presentation to the OCBA Employee Benefits Committee, YFU, Inc./YFU-USA’s is considered a fraudulent transfer case. They claim this is due to the so-called “buyer” taking over the seller’s assets except their real-estate. In addition the new entity refused to provide the terminated former “number two-position” officer with his remaining 16 months of COBRA health insurance coverage. (Successor Liability For Benefits in Assets Purchases, 2011).

Before the time of the bankruptcy of YFU, Inc., YFU had been the primary administrative organization for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for CBYX’s first decade and a half. YFU-USA had hoped it would be able to get back in the game once they had once more become eligible. (K12 Academics) In spite of YFU’s previous serious monetary transgressions, CBYX seems to have chosen to continue their work with this “well-renowned” corporation. (CBYX’s website)

Recently there was an Article in Journal-Standard dated Jun. 12, 2014 about young Madeleine Sutton who is travelling via a CBYX stipend to Germany. Please verify that she is indeed travelling with YFU/YFU-USA. Her father’s contact information is: xxxxxxxxx

I hope that the Office of Inspector General continue to keep an eye on YFU-USA, Inc. so the students and their parents can feel safe in their attempt to build a positive relationship between Germany and the US.

Lise Lotte M Almenningen
CSFES Norway

Cc: Child-Safe, UK

SIU, Norway: Eric Duncan

Department for Education, China
Department for Education, UK
Department for Education, Germany
Department for Education, Australia
Department for Education, Norway

CSFES, Danielle Grijalva
Dr. Freda Briggs

CSFES Norway