A look at the latest news from the Arizona Department of Education.
Women indicted on financial aid fraud charges
Federal authorities have accused four Arizona women of fraudulently collecting student financial aid money. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Nick Blumberg has more.
Three Glendale women and an inmate at the Perryville women’s prison were indicted on charges of wire fraud, conspiracy, identity theft, and stealing public funds. The four women allegedly used multiple identities to register for online classes at Rio Salado College. Then, they applied for federal student loans and grants. The women were awarded more than $150,000, and received about $70,000 before the scheme was stopped. The U.S. Department of Education conducted the investigation and found that dozens more fraudulent applications were in progress. A wire fraud conviction alone carries a maximum sentence of 30 years, a $1 million fine, or both.
Rio Salado College is part of the Maricopa Community College District, which holds KJZZ’s license.