International students claim Stockbridge school owner abandoned them

Homeland Security is investigating allegations a defunct private school in metro Atlanta misled international students to come to Georgia.

The issue is whether the school followed the law when it comes to applying for visas for those students.

Some complain they wound up living in squalid conditions.

"From what I was expecting, and what I was preparing for, it was bad," said 18-year-old Stefan Nakic of Serbia.

Stefan and his basketball buddies will not be sharing fond memories back home of the time they spent in Georgia.

"It make me feel bad. I really feel bad right now,: said 17-year-old Rostand Ndonj Essomba of Cameroon.

The teenagers say they came to Georgia to play competitive high school basketball, recruited by George Flint, owner of Faith Baptist Christian Academy North.

Before he left Serbia, Stefan says his family was shown online photos of a mountain lakeshore campus... with modern housing and a swimming pool.

But when the boys came to Georgia last summer, they found no pristine lake... no beautiful swimming pool... barely a campus at all. The school wound up being in a rented, yellow metal building behind a Stockbridge church.

And the housing? For months they say they piled into Flint's small house in Conyers... eventually left to fend for themselves for a month with only a few days food on hand.

"The house was crowded," remembered Stefan, now living with three other students with a host family in Florida. "There was 20 people in the house. Half of us were sleeping on the floor and in the basement."

Later, they say they were moved to a seedy apartment complex with only space heaters to get them through the winter. Some asked their parents to wire money so they'd have some way of buying food.

The boys' allegations led Homeland Security investigators to remove students from the original Faith Baptist Christian Academy campus in Ludowici in south Georgia. The school admitted several fire and safety violations and students are now living with church families. Pastor Dr. Terry Sellars says his school had already severed all ties with George Flint and sent a letter to him in November asking him to stop using their school's name. Dr. Sellars says his students have always been well-fed and cared for and are still attending classes on campus.

On Tuesday, investigators executed a search warrant at the Stockbridge church that rented out the property to Flint, looking for documents and paperwork for Faith Baptist Christian Academy North. The church itself is not connected to the school and not part of the investigation.

No one at Flint's Conyers house would come to the door.

His former students say he was disappointed when they showed up last year. They say they never got to play a game against serious competition.

"He was disappointed because he was waiting for a tall guy and when he saw me he was like... I wasn't the one he wants," remembered Rostand.

"George Flint said he was unsatisfied with me, that what he saw on my highlight tape and what he expected me to be. He didn't get that," Stefan said.