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Indiana joins suit against for-profit college company

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Indiana has filed a joint complaint in a whistleblower suit against Education Management Corp., which alleges the for-profit college company and two of its subsidiaries received more than $12 million in state financial aid after making false claims and misrepresentations to the state.

This is the first time Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office has used a whistleblower lawsuit to seek civil penalties due to false claims paid out of state financial aid, rather than out of Medicaid.

The lawsuit was originally filed by private plaintiffs in U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania. It alleges that EDMC and subsidiaries violated a federal law that bans incentive compensation for college admissions employees based on the number of students they enroll. The companies are accused of violating Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 by improperly compensating college recruiters with bonuses such as expensive vacations based on the number of students they recruited to enroll. The defendants of the Indiana portion of the suit are The Art Institute of Indianapolis and Brown Mackie College, which operates in five Indiana cities.

The Indiana portion of the complaint alleges a total of 16,814 student financial aid awards were claimed by the six EDMC schools operating here that falsely represented their compliance and eligibility to the state. The lawsuit says that EDMC defrauded the State of Indiana by claiming more than $12 million in student financial aid for which it was not eligible since 2003.

Indiana seeks civil penalties of at least $5,000 for each false claim submitted, treble damages, attorney fees, litigation costs and interest. A copy of the suit is available on the attorney general’s website. The state is demanding a jury trial.

The states of California, Florida, and Illinois, as well as the United States, also intervened in the suit.

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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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