School Employee Fraud Lawyers in Austin
Fraud has been defined as "Intentional false representation or concealment of a material fact for the purpose of inducing another to act upon it for personal benefit." Fraud usually entails intent, deception and harm. "Fraud happens everywhere," said one public school chief business officer. In recent news, a veteran educator has been accused of a $6 million school fraud scheme. This educator founded three charter schools and subsequently concealed payments to herself over a period of four years.
Often, for-profit schools aggressively recruit students and make compelling promises that delude victims into spending large amounts of their time and money, simply to accrue debt and a useless education. Because higher education is one of the best roads to future success, many predatory institutions have exploited individuals' dreams by making "get a good degree quick" pledge.
According to one newspaper expose, "…for-profit colleges haven't always been scrupulous when it comes to raiding the federal treasury. Between student aid and GI Bill programs, for-profit schools receive 86 percent of their revenue from the American taxpayer. And the recruiters—often little more than salesmen paid largely by how many people they enroll—are driven mercilessly to keep those cash registers ringing." The article went on to say, "They have quotas. And they're instructed to play on people's emotions to get them hooked in—and to get them to apply for student loans."
Because many local and online schools offer a plethora of courses and degrees, prospective students should be vigilant about the possibility of being taken advantage of. Did you receive an education that was contrary to what you were promised or paid for? If the quality and value of the education you received was misrepresented, you could have a school fraud claim on your hands.
Signs of School Fraud
The most common form of school fraud is when schools promise more than they can deliver- guaranteed certification in a certain field, for example. Other forms of school fraud could relate to licensure you gained or were supposed to obtain, total cost, extracurricular experience, the amount you will be/are in debt, and credit transfer. For example, each of these would constitute school fraud:
- Overcharging for products or services purchased at a lower rate
- Billing for services never rendered
- Double billing or charging more than once for the same service
From a school administrative perspective, signs that could indicate school fraud are:
- Late or poorly presented accounts
- Accounts and documents not circulated in advance
- Accounts that do not balance
- Financial inaccuracies that cannot be explained clearly
- Poor records and minutes
- Lack of openness and transparency, key decisions taken outside meetings, poor forward planning and final demands and 'red letters' received by the school
If a school misrepresented their job placement figures, gave incorrect claims about course credit transferability, made false claims about their accreditation and certification, misled you about the true costs of your curriculum, participated in misleading and exploitive financial aid practices or made false claims about salary expectations upon graduation, you should file a personal injury claim.
Before reporting school fraud, you should write out a detailed report of the fraud that took place, the names, positions and organizations involved, dates and durations of the occurrences, documentation or any evidence, approximate dollar amount involved, names of any witnesses and type of funds or programs involved.
If you were misled or taken advantage of by school employees, you should contact a Personal Injury Attorney from Zinda Law Group today. There are few things more debilitating than an insurmountable debt load and a failure to receive the education that was promised to you. Don't allow a dark cloud to hang over your future any longer, secure our legal services today and restore your chances of pursuing your dreams!