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Trade School Executive Pleads Guilty to Fraud

The head of a national chain of computer schools has pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud and conspiracy to defraud the Department of Education of student-aid money.

Irwin Mautner of Greenwich, Conn., entered the plea late last month in federal district court in Akron, Ohio. Mr. Mautner was the chief executive of Programming and Systems Inc., with headquarters in New York City. The company operated trade schools in several cities. The schools closed in 1992 and 1993.

Officials at the Education Department said that PSI received federally insured student loans worth more than $100 million and federal Pell Grants totaling $41 million. Mr. Mautner was charged with concealing the large number of students who withdrew from the company's schools and should have become ineligible for the federal aid.

When he is sentenced on the criminal charges, Mr. Mautner will face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, department officials said.

School-to-Work, Census Meetings Scheduled

The Advisory Council for School-to-Work Opportunities was scheduled to meet this week in Washington. At the Dec. 4 meeting, the group was to hear an update on the implementation of federal school-to-work programs and related workforce-development initiatives. Subcommittees of the panel will also report to the full panel on various issues, according to a meeting notice published in the Nov. 21 Federal Register. ... The coming new millennium will also mark another decennial U.S. Census. Hearing the clock ticking, the 2000 Census Advisory Committee will meet Dec. 11 in Washington to talk about the goals of the next census beyond counting how many people reside in the country. The panel, with representatives from 35 organizations picked by the Department of Commerce, will also talk about how the statistics-collection activities will help people looking for updated demographic data. The notice appeared in the Nov. 25 Federal Register.

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