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Education Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in government education programs. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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Whistleblower Reports Massive Fraud at Ohio Charter School

Posted  04/26/18
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team A former employee of Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is blowing the whistle on the online charter school inflating attendance records and learning hours to defraud the state out of millions of dollars. ECOT is now defunct, but at one time was the largest online charter school in Ohio. The whistleblower, who worked in ECOT’s tech department, informed the Ohio Department...

December 4, 2017

Former U.S. Congresswoman Corrine Brown was sentenced to five years in prison and to forfeit roughly $650,000 for her role in a conspiracy and fraud scheme involving a sham scholarship charity One Door For Education.  Brown’s long-time Chief of Staff Elias “Ronnie” Simmons was sentenced to serve 48 months in prison and Carla Wiley, the president of the fraudulent charity, was sentenced to serve 21 months in prison.  DOJ

August 18, 2017

California announced a tentative settlement that provides over $51 million in debt relief for Californians who attended Corinthian Colleges. Corinthian intentionally targeted low-income, vulnerable individuals through deceptive and false advertising that misrepresented job placement rates and school programs. These unlawful activities were enabled by Aequitas Capital Management Inc., a private equity firm currently under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-imposed receivership. Federal student loans made up almost 90 percent of Corinthian’s revenue. To maintain this revenue, Corinthian needed its mostly low-income students to receive these loans. Federal rules require for-profit colleges receive at least 10 percent of their revenue from sources other than federal student aid. To help fill this gap, Aequitas and Corinthian created a financial arrangement whereby Aequitas provided private loans to Corinthian students, and Corinthian guaranteed Aequitas a profit and agreed to buy back all non-performing loans. CA, FL

July 5, 2017

The FTC mailed 173,000 refund checks totaling more than $49 million to students in compensation for DeVry University’s allegedly misleading ads, which the Commission alleged deceived students about their likelihood of finding jobs in their field of study and the income level they could achieve upon graduation. According to the FTC’s complaint, DeVry deceptively claimed that 90 percent of its graduates actively seeking employment landed jobs in their field within six months of graduation and that graduates had 15 percent higher incomes one year after graduation on average than the graduates of all other colleges or universities. As part of the FTC’s $100 million settlement, the school agreed to pay $49.4 million to the FTC for partial refunds to some students and $50.6 million in debt relief. The debt forgiven included the full balance owed—$30.35 million—on all private unpaid student loans that DeVry issued to undergraduates between September 2008 and September 2015, and $20.25 million in student debts for items such as tuition, books and lab fees. FTC

Fraudster of the Week -- Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Ex-CEO of Chicago Public Schools

Posted  05/5/17
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Last Friday, a federal judge sentenced former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to more than four years in prison for her role in steering $23 million in city contracts in exchange for kickbacks.  Byrd-Bennett—who earned a $250,000 annual salary and had multiple pensions from previous jobs—received more than $2 million for her role in the...

May 1, 2017

New York announced the sentencing of Keisha Relf Davis, a New York State Department of Education vocational counselor, for taking part in a scheme that stole nearly $2.4 million from New York State. In September 2014, a Bronx County grand jury indicted Relf Davis along with co-defendants, Juan Cabrera and Juani Ortiz, who were already sentenced on Grand Larceny charges. Relf Davis was sentenced to two to six years in state prison by the Honorable Justice Steven Barrett. As part of the scheme, Relf Davis, in exchange for cash bribes, approved students for the Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services’ Vocational Rehabilitation Program (“ACCES-VR”), although these students never applied to the program. The ACCES-VR program was created to help eligible New Yorkers with disabilities and functional limitations gain self-dependence through education, training, and employment. Relf Davis knew that the students she approved did not have disabilities or functional limitations to qualify for this program. NY

February 1, 2017

Jackson State University agreed to pay $1.17 million to settle charges it violated the False Claims act by mismanaging National Science Foundation grants.  Specifically, a 2012 NSF audit identified salary and non-salary expenditures by Jackson State that were unallowable, not allocable, and/or had insufficient, inadequate and/or no supporting documentation.  A subsequent NSF investigation determined that, in preparation for the audit, and subsequently in response to the preliminary audit findings, Jackson State fabricated time and effort reports and provided them to the auditors, and in some instances presented inadequate and/or no supporting documentation.  DOJ (SDMS)

January 31, 2017

– New York announced a settlement with for-profit education company DeVry Education Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries DeVry University, Inc. and DeVry/New York, Inc. (collectively, “DeVry”). The settlement resolves an investigation that revealed that DeVry lured students with ads that exaggerated graduates’ success in finding employment at graduation and contained inadequately substantiated claims about graduates’ salary success. Many of DeVry’s advertisements centered on a claim that 90% of DeVry graduates who are actively seeking employment obtain employment in their field of study within six months of graduation. The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that the 90% claim was misleading because a substantial number of the graduates included in the 90% figure were graduates who were already employed prior to graduating from DeVry. In fact, many of the graduates included in the 90% were employed before they even enrolled at DeVry. Pursuant to the agreement, DeVry will pay $2.25 million in consumer restitution and $500,000 in penalties, fees and costs. NY

January 18, 2017

Illinois filed a lawsuit against Navient Corporation, its subsidiaries Navient Solutions Inc., Pioneer Credit Recovery Inc. and General Revenue Corporation and Sallie Mae Bank, over widespread abuses across all aspects of its business, including student lending, student loan servicing and student loan debt collection. Madigan’s complaint alleges that Navient’s practices harmed borrowers and put the company’s profits before the interests of millions of student borrowers across the country. For decades, Navient and Sallie Mae have been involved in the business of student lending – from the origination of loans, to the servicing of those loans for repayment, and the collection of loans that enter into default. In this time, Madigan alleged that Navient grew its student loan company into one of the country’s largest by engaging in practices that repeatedly harmed borrowers. IL

January 18, 2017

The CFPB sued the nation’s largest servicer of both federal and private student loans, Navient, for systematically and illegally failing borrowers at every stage by providing bad information, processing payments incorrectly, and failing to act when borrowers complained. Navient also used short cuts and deception to illegally cheat many struggling borrowers out of their rights to lower repayments. CFPB
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