Florida Education Fraud Abuse Lawyer
The costs of higher education have spiked significantly over the last few years, with annual costs reaching up to $47,000 at some institutions according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Many students will seek support through loans, grants, and other federal student aid options, most of which are taxpayer-funded. The vast majority of schools follow the numerous federal regulations and results, but you might be surprised to learn that there is enormous potential for education fraud and other abuse by higher learning institutions.
The Federal False Claims Act (FCA) is a Civil War-era statute that was enacted to weed out fraud against the government, and it provides a key incentive for individuals to expose such abuses. You may qualify for compensation, and our attorneys at Guttman, Freidin & Celler will advocate on your behalf throughout the process. Please contact us to schedule a no-cost case review with a Florida education fraud lawyer who can explain the details. A summary may also help you know what types of misconduct may constitute abuse.
Education Fraud and Abuse Examples
Fraud is generally defined as the use of false statements or deceit to gain a financial advantage of something of value. In the context of education fraud, the misconduct typically involves an institution presenting or reporting information to secure federal student aid. These schemes unjustly benefit the school, adversely impact quality and consistency in education, and cheat taxpayers.
For instance, there may be instances of education fraud and other abuses when an institution:
- Relies on federal funding for more than 90 percent of its revenue;
- Pays employees to recruit students in violation of law;
- Makes false statements about graduation, job placement rates, or other performance factors;
- Enrolls students who are not qualified for admission;
- Does not maintain proper accreditation;
- Falsifies student information to qualify for grants and research loans; and
- Waives admission requirements to enroll unqualified students.
Whistleblower Lawsuits Under FCA
Though the above examples of education fraud and abuse could give rise to criminal charges, the U.S. government has a keen interest in recovering its misappropriated funds. The FCA is a powerful tool for achieving this goal, as it enables a private individual with knowledge about education fraud to sue the defendant for misconduct. In exchange for your efforts as a whistleblower, i.e. “relator,” you may be entitled to a share of the damages recovered.
The total amount you may receive depends upon whether the government takes advantage of its option to join the FCA case, also called a qui tam action. If officials intervene, you can obtain a 15 to 25 percent share. When you go forward as the sole whistleblower, plaintiffs can receive up to 30 percent of the award.
Our South Florida Education Fraud Attorneys Can Provide Additional Details
To learn more about your options as a whistleblower under FCA, please contact Guttman, Freidin & Celler at 800.654.8281 or via our website. We can set up a free consultation at our offices in Miami, FL. After reviewing your details, an education fraud lawyer can determine how to move forward with your case.