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Education Fraud

Does your school have one of THE FIVE SIGNS OF FRAUD?

The education fraud attorneys of Antonelli Law Ltd. have successfully obtained settlements for hundreds of defrauded students and accepts whistleblower cases for federal financial fraud under the False Claims Act. We continue to prosecute many cases involving suspected fraud or 'scams' at career schools of all stripes. See Recent Activity below for updates.

Five Signs Your School Set You Up For Fraud:

  1. Your credits won't transfer to another school
  2. The school claims a high percentage of grads get jobs - but few of your classmates got jobs in their field
  3. The Enrollment Agreement made you give up your jury rights and go to arbitration when the school harmed you
  4. The school's "accreditation" is not the kind of accreditation needed in your program of study
  5. You need to find clinicals on your own
Contact attorney Jeffrey Antonelli via email or telephone at 312-201-8310 for a free consultation if you suspect your school has misled you.

Our Recent Legal Activity

On January 3, 2014 we filed our Notice of Appeal with the Appellate Court of Illinois in DeWeese, et al v. Stratford Career Institute.

We believe the trial court's dismissal of the complaint, at the beginning of the case, was wrong as a matter of law.

A transcript of the trial judge's ruling is found here.



Our Experience in Education Fraud Law

We have found many instances of education fraud at for-profit schools including college credits transfer fraud, accreditation fraud, and professional certification fraud. Many students are told by the school's sales representative ("admissions counselor") that their credits will transfer and the school is "accredited." But when they try to transfer their credits to a community college or traditional university they are shocked to find they can't transfer credits when they need to.

Why is This Happening and What Needs to Be Done?

A 176 page report from the US Senate HELP Committee and Chairman Senator Tom Harkin states: “The investigation found that most for-profit companies devote more resources to attracting students than they do to instructing them.”

The Report makes numerous recommendations, including:

  1. Using criteria beyond accreditation and State authorization for determining institutions' eligibility for Federal student aid money.
     
  2. Prohibiting institutions from including mandatory binding arbitration clauses in students' Enrollment Agreements.
The fields are endless - medical assisting, dental assisting, graphic design, nursing training, criminal justice - you name it. All kinds of training programs are deceiving and misleading their students.

Should you be a whistle-blower?

Employees of fraudulent for-profit schools are also contacting us to be whistle-blowers on the fraud. Why? To do the right thing; they are tired of being part of a fraud; and to potentially benefit by receiving a fee of 15% to more than 20% of the millions of dollars that may be recovered by the federal government under the False Claims Act also called a "Qui Tam" lawsuit. Contact attorney Jeffrey Antonelli via email or via this contact form if you are an employee at a school and witnessed fraud such as false employment disclosures to accreditation bodies or to the federal or state government.

Are you a veteran scammed by a for-profit college?

Even our military veterans are being scammed into worthless programs! This problem is so bad that President Obama signed an Executive Order on April 26, 2012 "to help ensure all of America’s service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members have the information they need to make informed educational decisions and are protected from aggressive and deceptive targeting by educational institutions."

Many for-profit schools are recruiting students for courses promising lucrative careers - but delivering only empty promises, large tuition bills and student debt not dischargeable in bankruptcy. If you or someone you know attended a school that was supposed to qualify you for employment, but all you have to show is student loan debt and no real job prospects, email attorney Jeffrey Antonelli.

Contact our law firm by phone or the “Contact Us” link at the top of this site if you have similar complaints. Please prepare to send us a copy of your Enrollment Agreement, Course Brochures, School Catalog and, if possible, copies of your receipts and payments to our office address.

Reform is needed, not just lawsuits

Contact US Senator Tom Harken to tell him your experience attending or working for a poorly performing (or fraudulent) for-profit school. Senator Harkin is the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. His website states:

"Senator Tom Harkin has launched a broad-based oversight effort to better understand how well for-profit schools, many of which are highly profitable publicly traded corporations, are serving students and taxpayers. As part of this effort, Senator Harkin has led five hearings and collected internal document from 30 for-profit schools."

Note: This law firm has no relationship with the Senator or the H.E.L.P. Committee, but everyone affected by the experience of working or attending a poorly performing (or fraudulent) for-profit college is encouraged to contact his office.

RESEARCH LINKS

Attorney Jeffrey Antonelli has investigated and filed lawsuits against schools committing alleged fraud for a number of years. If you believe your inability to find a job may be due to being misled by your school in some way, do not delay. Legal deadlines apply and waiting too long may allow the school to get away with it.

See this 2008 media story of what could happen to you:
http://articles.chicagobreakingnews.com/2008-11-22/news/28512262_1_students-abrupt-closure-loop-school

CONTACT US!

If you believe your college committed fraud, lied or misled you about the program or accreditation or credits transferability, or are employed by an institution engaging in education fraud and might want to be a whistle blower, contact Antonelli Law Ltd. You should receive a response within 48 hours.

Please note that contacting the law firm through this contact form, website, or an email does not itself create an attorney-client relationship.

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Our Case History

Current cases Antonelli Law is investigating:
  • Colleges that misled prospective students about their accreditation and transferability of courses to other colleges
  • Medical Assisting courses that do not qualify for the CMA or RMA credential
  • Dental Assisting courses sold based on false employment rates to prospective students
  • A for-profit school that failed to disclose its low graduation and employment rates
  • A for-profit school that gave false employment rates to its prospective students
  • A for-profit ultrasound school whose sonography course does not qualify for the ARDMS Registry or CCI Registry
Sample of schools we have sued or made claims upon:
  • Confidential pursuant to class settlement
  • Confidential due to settlement
  • Coyne American Institute
  • Healthcare Training Institute, Inc.
  • Medical Careers Institute
  • Stratford Career Institute
  • Westwood College
Click here for Recent Legal Developments at Antonelli Law
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