School is hard, but for those who had to work for years in order to pay off student debt, it’s even harder. It’s because of these hardworking individuals that student loan fraud is so sickening. As reported in The Post and Courier, thirteen individuals from South Carolina pleaded guilty to federal charges involving student loan fraud. (Did no one take an Ethics class?)
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Carolina, the defendants ”caused at least $689,000 of student loans and grants to be disbursed in the names of ineligible individuals. (Partayy!) The prosecutor said that people known as ”straw students” (they couldn’t come up with a better name?) were told they could receive thousands of dollars in financial aid without having to take online courses. The group collaborating on the scheme was paid from ”fees” taken from the student aid credit balance refund checks that the ”straw students” were given.
Colleges and universities have enough to worry about with underage drinking and obscene drug use on their campuses. They don’t need to add federal fraud to their list of concerns. So, it’s time for the government to sign up for ”Fraud 101: Public Records and Identity-based Filters” and learn how to detect and prevent student loan fraud.
Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” was based on the article ”13 Plead Guilty to Student Loan Fraud in Colleton County” published by The Post and Courier on May 30, 2012.
Thirteen people pled guilty this month to federal charges involving student loan fraud in the Walterboro area, U.S. Attorney for South Carolina Bill Nettles said Wednesday.
The pleas to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and student financial aid fraud, were entered in federal court in Charleston. U.S. District Judge David C. Norton accepted the pleas and will impose sentences after reviewing pre-sentence reports. Each defendant could be fined $250,000 and/or sentenced to five years in prison, plus a special assessment of $100, Nettles said.