FRESNO – A 32-year-old Palmdale woman pleaded guilty Monday to seven counts of mail fraud in connection to a federal student aid fraud scheme that bilked the Department of Education for more than $70,000.
Shauna Marie Fabrega is scheduled to be sentenced on December 9, 2013, by United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii.
According to the indictment, from June 2010 to January 2012, Fabrega recruited individuals to act as straw students and to apply for Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds with her assistance at Bakersfield College, Cerro Cosso Community College, and Santa Barbara Community College. The applicants were not students and did not intend to attend any classes.
Fabrega also applied for FSA funds in her own name and enrolled herself in courses at the three schools; but she was not eligible to enroll because she was not a high school graduate.
In addition, Fabrega obtained identification information from individuals without their knowledge and used that information to apply for FSA funds. As a result, the Department of Education lost more than $70,000.
The maximum sentence for mail fraud is 20 years in prison. Fabrega’s actual sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
(Information via press release from United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, Eastern District of California.)
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