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Ashcraft & Gerel Represents Whistleblower in Fraud Case Settled for $13 Million


Nathan M. Peak of Ashcraft & Gerel represented whistleblower, Dorothy Thomas, in a Federal False Claims Act (qui tam) action that resolved for $13 million, as announced by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on June, 24, 2015.

Education Affiliates (“EA”), a for profit education company based in White Marsh, Maryland agreed to the $13 Million settlement to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the Department of Education for federal student financial aid and for students enrolled in its various degree programs.

EA provides post secondary education and training degree programs in the areas of healthcare and other trade professions.  EA operates 50 campuses in 5 states and operates under various trade names.  The settlement agreement resolves five lawsuits in total as well as an administrative action brought by the Department of Education. The settlement resolves allegations that Education Affiliates changed students’ test scores and enrolled students with invalid high school diplomas, violating federal regulations for student financial aid.

Ms. Thomas, who was formerly a Senior Regional Director for EA, has over 25 years of experience working in the federal financial aid industry.  Because of that experience, she was uniquely equipped with the knowledge of the industry. Nathan M. Peak, attorney for Ms. Thomas, says, “I applaud the efforts of Ms. Thomas and whistleblowers like her who make the courageous decision to fight fraud at great risk of potential financial and professional harm to themselves. This is a fantastic result for the government and whistleblowers alike.”

If you have questions about whistleblowing or the False Claims Act, please contact Mr. Peak and our qui tam team either online or by calling 855-379-0385. All consultations are completely free and totally confidential.