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For-Profit College Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit Alleging Education Fraud

Kaplan College to refund over $1 million in financial aid amid allegations of unqualified instructors teaching class
SAN ANTONIO – January 6, 2015 – Kaplan Inc. (Kaplan), a leading and national for-profit education company with campuses across Texas, has reached a $1.3 million civil settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). This agreement resolves whistleblower claims that the school employed unqualified instructors at its campuses in Texas.
In 2012, Leslie Coleman, a former Kaplan employee, blew the whistle on the school’s fraudulent financial aid practices by filing a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act. The lawsuit accused Kaplan of employing unqualified instructors to teach medical assistant courses at its San Antonio campuses. The lawsuit also alleged that Kaplan knowingly accepted federal tuition funds for courses taught by individuals who did not meet minimum requirements mandated by Texas law. It took tremendous courage for Ms. Coleman to right this wrong. Ms. Coleman’s efforts will benefit taxpayers and victimized students. Ms. Coleman is a former active duty Air Force service member. Ms. Coleman is represented by Dan Hargrove of Waters & Kraus, LLP and Shawn Golden and Roy Barerra of the San Antonio law firm, Golden & Barerra.
For-profit educational institutions have an obligation to their students and the taxpayers to provide a quality education in exchange for the federal tuition dollars they receive. “This settlement advances that principle, explained Mr. Hargrove. “We are pleased that as a result of Ms. Coleman’s courage to come forward, 289 former students will benefit from student debt reductions and tax payers will not have to foot the bill.”
The DOJ began investigating Kaplan after Ms. Coleman filed her whistleblower lawsuit against the school. Kaplan has agreed to pay $1,329,753.25 to resolve the whistleblower claims. Approximately $1,077,000 of the settlement will be refunded tuition. This will directly benefit 289 students, whose student loan debt will be reduced as a result. For coming forward, Ms. Coleman will receive $212,158 as part of this settlement.
According to the DOJ, ” The settlement is not an admission of liability by Kaplan or its affiliates.”
The case is styled United States ex rel. Leslie Coleman v. Kaplan Inc., The Washington Post Company, Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, Kaplan College — San Antonio (San Pedro) and Kaplan College — San Antonio (Ingram).
Waters & Kraus, LLP and Golden & Barerra, LLP remain committed to protecting taxpayers and keeping government programs free of corruption.
About Waters & Kraus, LLP
Waters & Kraus is a national firm with highly skilled lawyers practicing qui tam whistleblower litigation as well as complex civil litigation in four offices, including Texas, California, and Maryland. Our attorneys have experience successfully representing whistleblowers in a variety of fraud cases. Learn more about our practice, contact our attorneys at 800.226.9880 to discuss how we can assist you.
About Golden & Barerra, LLP
Golden & Barrera is a civil litigation law firm that represents clients civil disputes before federal and state courts, arbitrators and administrative bodies. Golden & Barerra, LLP practices alongside the attorneys of Nicholas & Barrera, PC, a full service law firm that was started in 1957 and continues as the oldest unchanged law firm in the South Texas region.

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