We work with whistleblowers to expose fraud against the government.

Tampering with Qualification Testing

Colleges commit fraud in admitting unqualified students, who then fail and default on student loans.

Some for-profit colleges have been caught rigging the admissions process by encouraging and even helping applicants cheat on admissions exams, then enrolling applicants into programs for which they are not qualified. This sets students up for failure and defrauds the government of federal tax dollars spent in providing financial aid to unqualified students.

School employees who witness such testing fraud can file False Claims Act lawsuits to help the government recover funds and put an end to these illegal practices. Under the qui tam provisions of the Act, a whistleblower is entitled to recover a percentage of the government’s recovery.

Examples of for-profit colleges tampering with qualification testing include the following:

A lawsuit filed by a former employee of South University Online, which is owned by Education Management Corp., alleges that the for-profit school submitted fake proctor forms for “ability to benefit” tests in violation of Title IV of the Higher Education Act.

A passing score on the “ability to benefit” test is required of non-high school graduates or graduates of non-accredited high schools in order to be eligible for financial aid under Title IV. The required proctor forms certify that students are observed by non-family members who attest that the students did not cheat during the exam. The suit also alleges that the school allowed students to retake the admissions exams as often as necessary until they passed. The law allows students to take such admissions tests only three times during the same year. The suit is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

In an undercover probe of for-profit colleges undertaken by the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO), college personnel at some institutions fraudulently tampered with the undercover applicants’ admissions testing results.

At one for-profit college, an applicant was told that she needed to correctly answer 18 questions on a 50-question test. The test proctor then coached the applicant during the exam. At another college, an undercover applicant was given 20 minutes to complete a 12-minute exam, and at a different college, the applicant was allowed to take the test twice to achieve a higher score.

By admitting unqualified students and setting them up for failure, colleges and universities defraud the federal government of the financial aid that it paid to unqualified students.

Our federal financial aid programs for university and college students have the potential to change lives. We cannot afford to have these valuable funds depleted through education fraud. Whistleblowers have a valuable role to play in bringing such fraud to light.

How Waters Kraus & Paul can help whistleblowers

With a national presence and in-depth experience fighting fraud against the government, Waters Kraus & Paul, LLP, provides aggressive representation of whistleblowers in qui tam actions and related complaints. The firm currently represents whistleblowers seeking to recover funds on behalf of the federal and state governments in a variety of cases, which may involve defendants such as large pharmaceutical companies, government contractors, school district contractors, and hospice and nursing home care providers.

To learn more about qui tam representation at Waters Kraus & Paul, or to have one of our attorneys review your potential case, email us or call 800.226.9880.

What is Qui Tam?

Under the Federal False Claims Act (FCA), whistleblowers have the power to save taxpayers billions of dollars each year by taking a stand against fraud. The U.S. False Claims Act allows private citizens to file suits on the government’s behalf when the government has been defrauded through any federally funded contract or program. The qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act allow these citizens to recover damages. A number of states and the city of Chicago also have laws similar to the False Claims Act to protect against fraud. To learn more about the different types of fraud … READ MORE

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