OIG Investigative Reports, Camden NJ., August 14, 2013 - Pennsylvania Couple Admits Using Stolen Identities to Scam Student Loan Money from Online Universities 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 DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY NEWS Pennsylvania Couple Admits Using Stolen Identities to Scam Student Loan Money from Online Universities FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 14, 2013 CAMDEN, N.J. – An East Stroudsburg, Pa., couple admitted today to fraudulently obtaining at least $272,247 in student loan proceeds from Liberty University and American Public University by using stolen identities to have the money directed to addresses where they could intercept it, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Stephanie Mitchell, 36, and Ronzell Mitchell, 37, pleaded guilty to separate informations charging each with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. They entered their guilty pleas before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court. According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: From approximately Aug. 19, 2010, through March 21, 2012, the Mitchells fraudulently obtained U.S. Department of Education (ED) funds and converted them to personal use. Stephanie Mitchell regularly used a box at a UPS Store located in Montvale, N.J., that was opened using the name and driver’s license of another person. The pair then contacted online universities Liberty and American and posed as students for whom student loans had been issued, causing the proceeds of numerous credit balance checks and debit cards to be redirected to the UPS Store and a vacant house located in Stroudsburg, Pa. During their guilty plea proceedings, Stephanie and Ronzell Mitchell admitted several specific instances in which they redirected student loans intended for others to addresses they controlled. Through this method, the Mitchells obtained approximately $272,247 in ED funds to which they were not entitled. The count to which the Mitchells pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss caused by their offenses. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Nov. 18, 2013. U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the ED Office of the Inspector General, Northeastern Regional Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian Hickey; inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Maria Kelokates, and special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of James Mottola, Special Agent in Charge of the Newark Field Office, with the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah J. Gannett of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark. 13-339 Defense counsel: Ronzell Michell: Paul Brickfield Esq., River Edge, N.J. Stephanie Mitchell: Susan Cassell Esq., Ridgewood, N.J. Mitchell, Ronzell Information Mitchell, Stephanie Information Top Printable view Last Modified: 08/30/2013 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
Pennsylvania Couple Admits Using Stolen Identities to Scam Student Loan Money from Online Universities. Camden, NJ., August 14, 2013
Published by the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General on 2013-08-14.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report.