OIG Investigative Reports Press Release Fresno, CA., 07/29/2013 - Kern County Woman Pleads Guilty in Federal Student Financial Aid Fraud Scheme Skip to main contentAbout UsContact UsFAQs Language Assistance Englishespañol中文: 繁體版Việt-ngữ한국어TagalogРусский U.S. Department of Education Search for: Toggle navigation U.S. Department of Education Student Loans Grants Laws Data About ED OFFICES Home Reports & Resources Programs/Initiatives News Office Contacts Investigation Report THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE EASTERN DISTRICT of CALIFORNIA NEWS United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner Eastern District of California Kern County Woman Pleads Guilty in Federal Student Financial Aid Fraud Scheme FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE www.usdoj.gov/usao/cae Monday, July 29, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org Docket #: 1:12-cr-301 AWI FRESNO, Calif. — Stacey Kinyada Lee, 31, of Edwards, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the United States and to commit mail fraud in a federal student aid fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. The other four defendants in the case have already pleaded guilty. In her guilty plea, Lee admitted to conspiring from April 2008 to March 2012 to obtain federal student aid funds to which they were not entitled. Lee recruited individuals to act as “straw” students, including co-conspirators Deana Nolen, Willie Prude, Cheaney Key, and Erisheniqua Dixon. She enrolled them at community colleges and submitted false federal financial aid applications and other false documentation to obtain federal student assistance funds in their names, including Pell Grants and federal student loans. Lee enrolled the co-conspirators and other straw students at Barstow Community College, Cero Coso Community College, San Diego City College, and Antelope Valley College. Some of the straw students were not graduates of an accredited high school and did not have an equivalent degree such as a GED, and were therefore ineligible for federal student assistance programs. According to court documents, Lee typically enrolled herself and others in online classes that they never intended to complete. They either obtained failing grades based on their failure to complete classwork or withdrew from classes after receiving federal financial aid. Some conspirators shared a portion of the aid with Lee as her fee, but she also obtained funds by enrolling individuals without their knowledge to apply for and obtain federal student assistance funds in their names. Through the conspiracy, Lee defrauded the U.S. Department of Education and the colleges of approximately $203,409 in federal grant and student loan funds. “I’m proud of the work of OIG special agents and our law enforcement colleagues for shutting down yet another student aid fraud ring and holding Ms. Lee and her conspirators accountable for their criminal actions,” said Natalie Forbort, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General’s Western Regional Office. “OIG is committed to fighting student financial aid fraud, and we will continue to aggressively pursue those that participate in these types of crimes.” This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Sherriff is prosecuting the case. Lee is scheduled to be sentenced on October 7, 2013, by Senior United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii. Lee faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. #### Top Printable view Last Modified: 08/19/2013 How Do I Find... Student loans, forgiveness College accreditation No Child Left Behind FERPA FAFSA 1098-E Tax Form 2015 Budget Proposal More > Information About... Transforming Teaching Family and Community Engagement Early Learning K-12 Reforms More > Connect Facebook Twitter YouTube Email RSS Google+ More > MISUSED FOIA OIG Fraud Hotline Our mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. Student Loans Repaying Loans Defaulted Loans Loan Forgiveness Loan Servicers Grants & Programs Apply for Pell Grants Grants Forecast Open Grant Competitions Find Grant Programs by Eligibility Laws & Guidance No Child Left Behind FERPA Civil Rights Data & Research Education Statistics Postsecondary Education Data State Education Data Nation's Report Card What Works Clearinghouse About Us Contact Us ED Offices Jobs News FAQs Budget, Performance Notices FOIAPrivacySecurityInformation qualityInspector GeneralWhitehouse.govUSA.govBenefits.govRegulations.gov
Kern County Woman Pleads Guilty in Federal Student Financial Aid Fraud Scheme. Fresno, CA., July 29, 2013
Published by the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General on 2013-07-29.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report.