Miami for-profit college FastTrain scammed government
(Local 10 News.com) MIAMI – Federal and state authorities filed a civil complaint against a now-closed for-profit college based in Miami Wednesday alleging that they hired beautiful women and asked them to dress provocatively to recruit men.
The complaint said FastTrain representatives recruited students who were not eligible for federal student aid to apply for federal grants and student loans. Some of the women were exotic dancers, the lawsuit said.
The college representatives asked applicants to lie and even falsified documents to get their way, the lawsuit said. The state claims that about 1,300 such applications were completed between August 2008 and May 2012.
“We will continue to work with our federal partners to protect Florida students and the integrity of federal financial aid,” said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in a statement Wednesday.
Bondi and the U.S. attorney’s office filed the lawsuit. It alleges that the college shouldn’t have received $2.2 million in grants and $4.3 million in loans from the U.S. Department of Education, the complaint said.
“Misuse of taxpayers’ dollars cannot be tolerated – not only for the sake of taxpayers, but especially in the case of innocent individuals who seek to improve their lives through a quality education,” U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer said in a statement.
In October, a 15-count federal indictment in Miami named the former owner of the FastTrain college, Alejandro Amor, of Coral Gables, and three admissions officers. They faced conspiracy and theft of government funds charges for allegedly obtaining $6.5 million in fraudulent student aid.
FastTrain had seven campuses in Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Duval counties before it shut down June 2012 following FBI searches at its offices in May.