Florida Student Recruiter Incentive Fraud Lawyer
The fundamental focus of Florida universities, colleges, and related institutions is providing educational services, but it is important to remember that profits are still essential. To maximize their business opportunities and gain access to Federal Student Aid programs, these schools must dedicate substantial resources to recruiting efforts. However, there is a fine line between lawful recruitment and offering illegal financial incentives for bringing students in the door. Certain activities may amount to student recruiter incentive fraud, which cheats taxpayers and the educational system.
If you have information regarding recruiting misconduct, the U.S. government has established a process through which you can obtain compensation by helping recover misappropriated funds. Your remedy comes through the Federal False Claims Act (FCA), and our Guttman, Freidin & Celler attorneys can explain in more detail. Please contact our firm to set up a complimentary consultation with a Florida education fraud lawyer today. Some information on student recruiter incentive fraud and FCA options may also help you understand the basics.
Unlawful Recruitment Constitutes Fraud
Any use of deception to gain something of value is considered fraud, but illegal student recruitment fraud is based upon a strict prohibition under federal student aid regulations. It is illegal for institutions to provide incentive payments to individuals or entities according to the number of students they enroll. The ban was enacted to avoid the situation where higher education facilities put profits ahead of legitimate, quality education. Any institution is capable of such misconduct, but recruitment fraud is common by:
- Private career colleges;
- For-profit companies hired by institutions to recruit students;
- Admissions counselors; and
- Online or distance learning institutions.
In addition, keep in mind that certain marketing practices may constitute recruitment fraud if they mislead or deceive students into enrolling.
Legal Relief for Whistleblowers
Fraud can be a criminal matter, but the U.S. government also has an obvious interest in getting back misappropriated funds. Lawmakers enacted the FCA for just this purpose, allowing private citizens to file a lawsuit against the defendant who committed acts of recruitment fraud. If you have information about misconduct, you may be entitled to compensation for your knowledge and efforts in exposing wrongdoing.
Though you are the plaintiff or relator in this qui tam action under the FCA, the US government does have the opportunity to intervene and pursue the action against the defendant. Your compensation will depend on this factor, so:
- If the government does join the lawsuit, your award could be 15 to 25 percent of the total amount awarded; and
- When you move forward as the sole plaintiff, you could recover up to 30 percent of the award.
Contact Our South Florida Education Fraud Attorneys for Details
For more information on student recruiter incentive fraud and related misconduct, please contact Guttman, Freidin & Celler today. You can schedule a free case review at our Miami offices by calling 800.654.8281 or filling out our online contact form. After reviewing the details, we can advise you on the application of FCA and your legal remedies as a relator.