Florida Education Fraud Lawyer
Most people who hear the term fraud, automatically think of identity theft or forgery. While it is true that these white collar crimes are common forms of fraud, they are by no means the only examples of this offense. In fact, some of the most costly fraud-based schemes target the government, including healthcare programs like Medicare and Medicaid, or in some cases, educational institutions. Those who steal or intentionally misuse federal education funds can and should be held accountable for their deception, so if you have proof that a person or company is engaging in deceptive practices in regards to federal funding, you should consider speaking with an experienced Florida education fraud lawyer who can walk you through your legal options.
Examples of Federal Education Fraud
Every year, universities across the country receive billions of dollars in aid from the federal government for research, grants, and financial assistance for students. When educational institutions receive these funds, they are bound by strict rules on how that money can be used and how records regarding the use of those funds must be maintained. Unfortunately, the federal governments loses millions of dollars every year as a result of the misuse or theft of education-related funds, including federal student aid, funds for special education programs, and Title I funds which are intended for school districts with low-income families. For instance, unscrupulous for-profit colleges and vocational schools often defraud government student loan and financial programs by:
- Falsifying student eligibility for aid;
- Billing for non-existent students;
- Submitting false information about accreditation criteria;
- Recruiting unqualified students to increase enrollment; and
- Paying recruiters to enroll students.
While all of these forms of fraud are both illegal and unethical, schemes involving the use of predatory marketing and recruitment schemes have become particularly popular in recent years.
It is unlawful, under the False Claims Act, to defraud or attempt to commit fraud against the government through a federal program. While this does apply to large and well-funded programs like Medicare or Medicaid, it also covers any kind of federal grant, including the billions of dollars worth of federally-backed student loans that are dispersed by the government every year. In addition to protecting whistleblowers from the retaliation of their employers, the False Claims Act also encourages and rewards whistleblowers to come forward with information about the waste, or abuse of federal education loans and grants by allowing plaintiffs who file qui tam claims on behalf of the government, to collect up to 30 percent of any funds recovered by the federal government.
Filing an Education Fraud Qui Tam Lawsuit
If you have proof of a university’s use of illegal recruiting or marketing methods, their misuse of federal funding, or their involvement in another form of fraud, you could have standing to file a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of the government. At Rabin Kammerer Johnson, we have a team of experienced and dedicated Florida education fraud lawyers standing by who can help maximize your own chances of recovery. Please call us at 561-659-7878 to learn more.