Several people face criminal charges in connection with a financial aid scam at a community college in Northern California, prosecutors said, the Associated Press reports. Those involved in the alleged fraud received tens of thousands in federal money to attend Contra Costa College in San Pablo and received passing grades in drama classes they never attended, according to the Contra Costa Times. Contra Costa County prosecutor Dodie Katague told the newspaper that the scheme known as “Pell runner” was discovered after one of the phony students came forward to the authorities. “I’m sure there are other people who are doing this that are getting away with it,” Katague said. “The scam is easy to commit: you just have to lie on your application that you are broke, get a check and after you get a check you withdraw from the classes. It’s very hard to catch because the record-keeping is lax.”

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