Posts Tagged ‘Brown Mackie College’

James Hoyer Part of Global Whistleblower Settlement with For-Profit College EDMC

Jason Sobek - EDMC Whistleblower

Jason Sobek – EDMC Whistleblower

The Department of Justice announced it has reached a landmark, global settlement with Education Management Corporation, the 2nd largest for-profit education company in the country. EDMC agreed to pay $95.5 million to settle allegations that the company violated federal and state False Claims Act laws.

James Hoyer client Jason Sobek, a former EDMC Project Associate Director of Admissions, was one of several whistleblowers who came forward to expose issues regarding how the schools recruited students and reported job placement numbers.

EDMC was accused of using predatory techniques to lure students to sign up, misrepresenting its job placement statistics, and paying employees incentives based on the number of students recruited. EDMC runs several for-profit colleges, including South University, The Art Institutes, Arogsy University, and Brown Mackie College.

“We are gratified that information Jason provided helped lead to the resolution of this case with a landmark, global settlement,” said Chris Casper, James Hoyer Managing Partner. “We are hopeful this will prompt much needed change in practices used by the for-profit college industry.”

The Department of Justice news release explains:

The primary allegation was that EDMC unlawfully recruited students, in contravention of the HEA’s Incentive Compensation Ban (ICB), by running a high pressure boiler room where admissions personnel were paid based purely on the number of students they enrolled.  In addition to resolving these and other FCA claims, the global settlement also encompasses an investigation by a consortium of state Attorneys General, of consumer-fraud allegations involving deceptive and misleading recruiting practices.

In addition to offering information and help to federal investigators, Sobek shared his story with the public to help shed light on EDMC practices, warn students and bring about change.   Among those reports were a story with ABC Network News, WTAE TV in Pittsburgh, and WFTS TV in Tampa.

Sobek’s portion of the settlement amounts to $2.5 million which will be paid out over the course of several years. Under the False Claims Act, whistleblowers are entitled to a percentage of a settlement as a reward for bringing forward information that leads to the recovery of money on behalf of taxpayers.

Click here to read more on the settlement in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Click here to read more on the settlement in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

Click here to read more on the settlement from WTAE TV in Pittsburgh.

Click here to read more on the settlement from CBS News.

 

James Hoyer Client Interviewed in Investigative Report on For-profit Colleges

A hard hitting story on WFTS TV, the ABC station in Tampa, exposed questionable practices in recruiting and job placement at the 2nd largest for-profit college company in the nation, Education Management Corporation, known as EDMC.

The company is at the center of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former EDMC Admissions Representative Jason Sobek, who is represented by the James Hoyer Law Firm.  EDMC operates several for-profit colleges, including The Art Institutes, South University, Argosy University and Brown Mackie College.

In the report, Sobek was interviewed and explained that recruiters at the schools were encouraged to say whatever it takes to sign students up:

“We were trained to target low-income students, single mothers, women staying at women’s shelters,” Sobek said.

 I-Team investigator Michael George asked Sobek why those groups were targeted.

 “They were easy victims,” Sobek said.

 But there was more to it than that. Sobek says low-income students were desired because they qualify for the most federal aid. EDMC’s schools received $1.8 billion dollars in federal grants and loans in 2010 alone, according a report on for-profit schools by the U.S. Senate. That’s taxpayer money.

Click here to read the full report on the WFTS TV website.

Click here to read another report from WTAE TV in Pittsburgh, the hometown for EDMC’s headquarters.