Department Decision Bars Proprietary-School Firm From Receiving Most Forms of Federal Assistance

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments


Washington--The Education Department has placed the Wilfred American Educational Corporation, a proprietary-school firm that has been indicted for fraud in connection with student-aid programs, on a list of individuals and organizations that in most cases are barred from receiving money from any federal agency.

A spokesman for the department said that this is the first time it has sought to place anyone on the list since "debarment and suspension'' regulations went into effect in October. Those added to the list because of illegal or improper actions are ineligible for any federal aid except Social Security and other entitlements. (See Education Week, June 15, 1988.)

Critics Fear Abuses

Critics of the regulations have warned of potential abuse of the rules, which afford federal officials broad authority and limit possible defenses. Theoretically, entire organizations could be debarred for the actions of individuals or for doing business with debarred persons or organizations.

Indictment is specifically listed in the regulations as an adequate basis for the temporary suspension of eligibility.

Wilfred, which operates a chain of hair and beauty schools, was indicted in October in connection with three schools it operates in Florida. The company is accused of making false statements to the Education Department and misappropriating student-aid funds, as well as wire fraud and racketeering.

The company is appealing the proposed debarment.

Other E.D. Actions

In a related development, six other Florida trade schools have been excluded from federal student-aid programs because of allegedly fraudulent practices.

The Robert Fiance Corporation, which operated the schools, also will pay a $1.5-million fine as part of a settlement agreement.

The Education Department's office of postsecondary education and office of inspector general found that Fiance officials had falsified attendance records for students, forged their signatures on aid applications, and obtained aid for ineligible students.

The schools involved include Computech Institute in Miami, American Hi-Tech Business School in Tampa, and four Robert Fiance Institutes in Miami and Hialeah. The inspector general's office is continuing to investigate possible criminal violations.--jm

Vol. 08, Issue 17

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >