Where the False Claims Act meets for-profit colleges: 4 hot areas for compliance

Where for-profit colleges are noncompliant, the DOJ has shown its willingness to enforce compliance through a robust tool—the False Claims Act


Administrators and employees of for-profit colleges need to be aware of a federal statute that may not immediately associate with these institutions: the False Claims Act (“FCA”).

Pressure has been building from the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) to prosecute civil FCA cases against for-profit colleges in a growing number of areas.…Read More

Suit seeks relief for trade school students with years of debt but no career

The Wilfred Academy promised her “everything you’ll need for your beauty career.” When she enrolled, Ana Salazar, a single mother of four, then 40, believed it was a ticket out of her minimum wage job as a security guard, the New York Times reports. But 26 years later, Ms. Salazar, who is retired and lives on government assistance, still doesn’t know how to cut hair. The Wilfred branch at West 50th Street and Broadway, one in a nationwide chain of beauty schools, was shuttered before she could complete the course. The only thing she has to show for her time there is a pile of repayment requests for a federally guaranteed loan that has ballooned to more than $16,000 with interest and fees…

Read more

…Read More

Lawsuit: Technology ‘destroyed’ blind student’s education

A federal lawsuit filed by a blind Miami University student accuses the university of using technology that presents a barrier to her education.

lawsuitJunior Aleeha Dudley, of New Paris, says course materials are inaccessible to her text-to-speech software and she hasn’t received material in Braille or other tactile forms she can use without help to offset her lack of sight.

The lawsuit, filed last week, says Miami failed to provide equal access in violation of federal law.

Dudley, who wants to go veterinary school, said her hopes of being admitted to a graduate program have been “jeopardized, if not destroyed,” because of lackluster grades she blames on barriers to completing coursework.…Read More

3 accused in FIU cheating scandal

Two students and one alumnus at Florida International University have been accused of a scheme that involved hacking into a professor’s computer, stealing a pivotal test and distributing copies to students willing to pay $150 a pop, officials said, the Sun Sentinel reports.

The case, which resulted in three arrests on felony charges, is the latest of several high-profile cheating allegations at state universities in recent years.

Police say Alex Fabian Anaya, 30, an FIU alumnus, logged into a professor’s email account in 2012 to access four test exams, and then organized a distribution system where he was paid up to $150 per person for a copy of the stolen exam. Police equated the alleged crime to breaking into someone’s house and stealing their property. Anaya was charged with dealing in stolen property, felony theft and burglary of an unoccupied structure.…Read More

University student ‘set up fake account to threaten herself’ on Facebook

University of Wyoming investigators traced a sexually, potentially threatening online Facebook comment to the personal computer of a former student who was the supposed victim object of the attack, according to court documents, the Herald Sun reports. Meghan Lanker-Simons, a vocal advocate for liberal causes, was the target of the graphic comment posted to the UW Crushes Facebook page that was written to appear as if it were authored by a conservative Republican. The posting raised an outcry to find the author of the post and spurred a rally against sexual violence in which Ms Lanker-Simons participated. But UW police said Ms Lanker-Simons authored the comment herself. She has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of interfering with police. The Laramie Boomerang reports her attorneys are seeking to exclude evidence obtained by police, which prosecutors are resisting.

Read more

…Read More

Peeping Tom indicted for making videos of Athens college students

A Clarke County grand jury this week indicted a man on charges he shot video of college students while peeking though their bedroom windows, OnlineAthens reports. John Adam Evers, 38, was charged with invasion of privacy, two counts of peeping Tom, and three counts of loitering or prowling, according to the indictment filed Tuesday in Clarke County Superior Court. He allegedly took video of a partially clad student three years ago at Players Club apartments on Riverbend Road, but the case went unsolved until his arrest earlier this year for an unrelated incident. Evers was arrested March 30 after a student reported to police that she and her roommate saw a shadowy figure outside their home at Riverbend Club, also on Riverbend Parkway, possibly spying on them.

Read more

…Read More

The eBook conspiracy comes to a close

A typical conception of antitrust laws is that they protect consumers from monopolies, preserving competition at the expense of the biggest, most prominent player in a given market. But that’s not always the case, The New Yorker reports. On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote ruled, in a hundred-and-sixty-page opinion, that Apple had conspired with five of North America’s largest book publishers in a scheme to raise and fix e-book prices, violating Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. A major beneficiary of the decision, Amazon, is not only one of the largest, most influential companies in technology but also the dominant company in bookselling. And, though Apple has said it will appeal Cote’s ruling, Wednesday’s decision likely ensures that Amazon will remain on top for the foreseeable future. … Damningly, in her ruling, Cote noted that Hachette’s C.E.O., Arnaud Nourry, had, during the negotiations with Apple, observed “that the goal of these ventures is ‘less to compete with Amazon than to force it to accept a price level higher than 9.99.’ ” HarperCollins, the ruling says, understood that the result of their agreement “is that Apple would control price and that price would be standard across the industry.” The fact that Apple promised higher prices is part of what doomed its case. “It’s not clear that Apple had any interest in raising prices,” said Randy Picker, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, who taught a class on the case this past fall.

Read more

…Read More