June 24, 2015
For-profit education company Education Affiliates
agreed to pay $13 million to settle charges it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the Department of Education for federal student aid. The Maryland-based company operates 50 campuses under various trade names, including All State Career
, Fortis Institute
, Fortis College
, Tri-State Business Institute Inc.
, Technical Career Institute Inc.
, Capps College Inc.
, Driveco CDL Learning Center
, Denver School of Nursing and Saint Paul’s School of Nursing
. According to the government, the company engaged in a variety of fraudulent acts to increase admissions including admitting unqualified students, creating false high school diplomas, falsifying students’ federal aid applications, and referring prospective students to “diploma mills” to obtain invalid online high school diplomas. The allegations first arose in five whistleblower lawsuits filed under the qui tam
provisions of the False Claims Act. As part of this resolution, the five whistleblowers will receive whistleblower award payments totaling approximately $1.8 million. Whistleblower Insider