BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Source: USDOJ) — On February 24, 2017, Marie M. Jean-Francois, 31, of Boca Raton, was sentenced to 51 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for her involvement in a scheme to obtain unauthorized loans for students in a licensed practical nurse (“LPN”) program by defrauding the Department of Education.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Yessyka Santana, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Education, Office of Inspector General (ED-OIG), made the announcement.
Jean-Francois, previously pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A.
According to court documents, Jean-Francois engaged in a scheme to defraud the Department of Education by submitting fraudulent student loan applications on-line. Jean-Francois was an employee/director of the Coral Ridge Training School, an institution that offers a licensed practical nurse training program. Jean-Francois falsely told students that they would receive a grant that would cover the costs of the program. One evening, during a training class, Jean-Francois demanded that the students provide their personal identification numbers (PIN), identification information that is issued to students when they file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. Jean-Francois then used the students’ PINs and other personal information to electronically sign promissory loan notes without the students’ consent or authorization. Many students did not learn that the unauthorized loans had been taken out in their names until they began receiving letters from the loan servicing companies.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the ED-OIG. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia R. Wood.