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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. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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