As Feds Crack Down On For-Profit College, A Founder Heads To Prison For Fraud

Source: Anya Kamenetz, NPR Morning Edition, May 12, 2016

A federal judge’s ruling in Florida has brought a new development in the various government investigations of the for-profit college industry: prison time for the school’s founder. Alejandro Amor, the founder of a college called FastTrain in south Florida, was sentenced last week to eight years in federal prison for fraud. … Investigators found that the company forged signatures, enrolling people who were not qualified for college and more than a thousand students who hadn’t even finished high school. The school had collected some $35 million in student loans and federal financial aid. The judge’s ruling concluded that millions of dollars of that money had effectively been stolen. … As of last June, 28 for-profit colleges were under investigation, according to a report from the Brookings Institition. This list includes some of the very biggest names in the business: Apollo Group (operators of the University of Phoenix), DeVry and ITT. All three companies have denied the allegations and say they are cooperating fully with investigators. …

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Florida for-profit college used strippers as recruiters, feds say
Source: Michael Vasquez, Miami Herald, December 3, 2014

Some Florida for-profit colleges have used highly aggressive techniques to recruit students — including non-stop phone calls, misleading promises and $500 rewards for referrals. But according to a federal lawsuit, Miami-based FastTrain College added a new wrinkle: hiring strippers as “admissions representatives.” The “exotic dancer” allegation comes from the U.S Attorney’s Office and Florida’s attorney general, who this week both joined a pending whistle-blower lawsuit against FastTrain. A civil complaint filed by the two agencies say at least one FastTrain campus used strippers to attract students, though it did not identify the campus. …