AV residents indicted in federal student aid fraud schemes

ANTELOPE VALLEY – Antelope Valley residents are among  21 individuals indicted for conducting federal student aid schemes that defrauded the government of more than $1 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The prosecution is part of a federal investigation aimed at shutting down student aid “fraud rings” that seek to exploit federal student aid programs.

“At this time of year, as college students begin classes at schools throughout the state, it is important to send the message that fraud against student assistance programs will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner in a statement. “Those who rip off federal aid funds can expect to find themselves in a prison cell instead of a classroom.”

The announcement highlights the cases charged in the last 35 days.

Shauna Marie Fabrega, 32, of Palmdale, is charged with bilking the Department of Education out of more than $70,000.

According to the indictment, Fabrega recruited individuals to act as straw students and to apply for federal student aid funds at Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, and Santa Barbara City College.

The recruited applicants were not students and did not attend classes at the colleges. Fabrega also committed identity theft and used the information to apply for federal student aid funds, according to the indictment.

She used prepaid debit cards in the names of the enrolled students to receive the funds and had the cards sent to her residence. Some colleges also sent checks directly to Fabrega’s residence, according to the indictment.

April Lynn Myles, 35, of Lancaster, scammed the Department of Education out of more than $80,000, according to the indictment.

Myles allegedly recruited individuals to act as straw students and to apply for financial aid at Bakersfield College and at Santa Barbara Community College. The applicants were not students and did not intend to attend classes.

Myles also applied for student aid funds in her own name and enrolled herself in courses at Bakersfield College and at Santa Barbara Community College. But she was not eligible to enroll in the courses because she was not a high school graduate, according to the indictment.

Myles is also accused of using stolen identities to apply for financial aid.

Five more defendants are accused of committing fraud through Antelope Valley College and other institutions, which resulted in a collective loss of more than $130,000 in federal grant funds, and more than $70,000 in federal student loan funds.

The defendants are Erisheniqua Dixon, 20, of Boron; Deana Shirelle Nolen, 46, of Boron; Willie Sherman Prude, 52, of Boron; Cheaney Lavell Key, 48, of El Cajon; and Stacey Kinyada Lee, 30, formerly of North Edwards.

They conspired to enroll themselves and others as straw students at four community colleges to obtain federal financial aid funds to which they were not entitled, according to the indictment.

The defendants also enrolled in online classes that they did not intend to complete and obtained federal Pell Grant and student loan funds based on the false aid applications.

The 21 defendants in the indictments announced Tuesday are charged with a variety of felony offenses, including conspiracy, financial aid fraud, identity theft, mail fraud and wire fraud.

  28 comments for “AV residents indicted in federal student aid fraud schemes

  1. Call it like I see it
    September 21, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Let me guess….Blacks?! And they wonder why they get profiled?! Unbelievable!

    • tom
      September 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      u racist bigot this is 2012!!!

      • Greta
        September 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm

        Thank you! But no need to respond to small minded bottom feeders like that. People like that usually die a slow death on their own, eaten alive from the inside out by their own hatred and ugliness.

        • Tim Wright
          September 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm

          Greta is either allergic to facts or living in complete denial all of the time. Of course it makes her feel better to call people “small minded bigots” and “kkk” but this is just a tactic to fulfill her own psychological shortcomings and shame.

  2. sacryinshame
    September 21, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Now all we need to do is have someone from CCRC or other state/federal/county, licensed home care, cross check their records and see how much they got paid or their pretend sitter got paid and split with them.Follow the money!!!

  3. [Removed] Paleez
    September 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Erisheniqua???? Wtf???

    • Quigley
      September 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      HILARIOUS! I bet she still has a problem spelling her own name!

  4. Gladdis
    September 19, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Wouldn’t the financial aid office have noticed any of these people coming into the financial aid office?

    • Observer
      September 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      What is the financial aid office supposed to do? Ask for I.D.? Ask for other types of verification?

      If they did, get ready to hear screams of “You be racissss!” or “It’s because I’m black aint it?”

      • Gladdis
        September 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

        The response would be “no,I asked everyone for ID. Do you know me?” The applicants response would be “no”. Employee, “then, since you want money, show some ID so you can be identified and someone else can’t come in here and get money in your name.” Pretty simple stuff. How long would that take?

        • Observer
          September 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

          You can’t even get people to show an I.D. to vote without hearing them bitch and cry “racism”, what makes you think they will show one to get student grants from the federal government?

          • Stinger
            September 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm

            That is a comparison of apples to bananas and is not pertinent to this question. I had to show ID for my student loans for college back in the day, so I, too, am surprised that this wasn’t caught before money was disbursed.

          • Observer
            September 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm

            Nope, not “apples vs bananas” at all! even though you would like to think so. People screaming “racism” about being forced to show ID at federal and state elections sets a precedent for other federal and state activities with citizens. Besides that I have never met a liberal who could thoroughly debate Voter ID laws and make sense in doing so. Care to give it a try?

          • sacryinshame
            September 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm

            I agree with the “apples to bananas” comment. Not at all the same thing. If you want to debate the Id issue and voting, why don’t you do it on a Speak Out forum. You are off topic. This article is about student loan issues and blog about what could have been done to prevent thousands of dollars from being handed out to people pretending to be students. Scammers, liars and cheats! Didn’t Cher sing about that?

          • Observer
            September 21, 2012 at 9:28 am

            You think scammers, liars and cheats don’t vote too? You think they won’t scam, lie and cheat to get their “guy” voted back into office?

            You are obviously very naive!

  5. sacryinshame
    September 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I wonder how many of the people who get these fraudulents loans are also tied to the daycare fraud schemes. They apply for school loans and then get ccrc to pay their daycare and don’t go to school or work. They never have any intention of paying their loans back and couldn’t care less what it does to their credit. They don’t need to pass a credit check to get section 8.

  6. Ky Ann
    September 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    The way this is worded is making it look like the whole AV. All AV residence are involved. That is wrong. What they people are pulling is way more than wrong. I would like to see how the end of this comes out and if they end up paying it all back. If not others will feel like they shouldn’t have to pay it back either. Even if it means they can repo your car or your house.

    • Letlow
      September 19, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      So you mean just because SOME AV residents are stealing student aid, people shouldn’t be led to believe that ALL AV resident are scammers right? Because not ALL AV residents are alike right?

      I love it! Now lets apply it to all situations across the board. And lest I forget, I hope they bring down the hammer on the shysters mentioned above.

  7. HM
    September 19, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    thats ok, obama will let them off the hook..since his next “suck up” tactic will be excusing student loans.. i am sure they are part of his 47%.. losers, everyone of you!

    • sacryinshame
      September 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      They probably are part of the group of people who will never make a legit living or pay taxes. Not sure what Obama has to do with that and I am not interested in reading your biased explanation.

  8. anna
    September 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    student ‘loans’ seem to have become the new ‘welfare’ the government shouldnt give out $$$ until after they have completed a class with a passing grade.(and NOT in basket weaving) if they want it bad enough they will work. save and figure out how to make their dream possible. best of luck to them all. there are trade schools in a specific field and ROP that are a lot cheaper

    • Quigley
      September 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      Anna I couldn’t agree with you more. The POS’s who are “educated” on how to rip off the system, will unfortunately always be there scamming anything that gives them $$. Its a damn shame!

    • Paul
      September 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      You want to know what’s really bad? Students who are eligible for $1 classes class through AVC but still get the full $5,500 fin government grants. The majority of these students will take basket weaving classes and blow the money on all sorts of frivolous and sometimes illegal things.

      Then you have diploma mills like University of Antelope Valley who charge out the ying-yang knowing they’ll get their money and the majority of their students will still be working at McDonald’s four years later.

  9. Matt K.
    September 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Not a shred of sympathy from me for these fraudulent people!

    $70,000.00 would have paid what I still owe on my student loans — twice!

    It’s also a major reason why serious students cannot get the classes they need because registration is full.

    I hope they continue to crack down on people like this. I’m sure this sort of scamming is a lot more widespread than they think.

    • H. D
      September 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      Wow! I had to withdraw from my classes a few years ago. When I really was ready to go back I had to work my fingers to the bone in order to repay the government over 2k in Pell grant repayment to become eligible again. Those accused have spit on those of us who use the aid to get an education to use in future employment. They can all have fun in Chowchilla! NO PLEA BARGAINS!!

    • Lame People
      September 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      Thank You, I am an AVC Student 3.5 GPA I work my A$$ off to keep my grades and see all these losers come in to class (First two weeks) taking spots and after FA is dispersed the 24 goes to 10-15 and students that did not get in trying to crash are screwed except the ones you see come in just trying to get a class to get the money (Technical Class come in in short mini skirts long nails and ratty weaves) and have no clew what the class is even about.

      It is BS

  10. S. Parker
    September 19, 2012 at 9:20 am

    This kind of fraud really burns me up, because you are taking student aid from earnest students who really want an education! I hope they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

Comments are closed.