State Attorneys General Expand For-Profit Probes

State Attorneys General Expand For-Profit Probes

January 17, 2013

The abrupt closure of five American Career Institution campuses in Massachusetts sparked an investigation by the state's Attorney General's office, reports The Republican. The for-profit college chain had three other locations in Maryland that also closed suddenly.

Attorney General Martha M. Coakley urged students to take appropriate steps to protect their assets and ongoing education, including canceling any automatic payments to the institution and preserving all related documents and paperwork.

Additionally, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced on Wednesday that his office filed a consumer-protection lawsuit against Spencerian College “ a Kentucky for-profit education provider with campuses in Lexington and Louisville.

The latest complaint, which is the fourth in Conway's continuing investigation of for-profit colleges, alleges that the institution violated the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act by making unfair, false, misleading and deceptive statements in its publications and on its website regarding its job placement rates.

In a news release, Conway stated that school published job placement rates that were higher than those reported to its accreditor. "I believe Spencerian College was more concerned about signing students up for classes and getting its hands on student loan money than educating students and placing them in jobs. The bottom line is they preyed on people who were trying to build better lives for their families in these tough economic times."

Spencerian removed the conflicting graduation placement rates from its website after receiving a civil investigative demand from the Attorney General's office. The recently-filed lawsuit seeks an injunction against the institution to prohibit further deceptive trade practices. In addition, the complaint seeks civil penalties of $2,000 per violation and recovery of investigative costs and attorney's fees.

Attorney General Conway continues to lead a national bipartisan effort to examine potential abuses in the for-profit college industry. There are currently 30 states involved in the working group.


Related Links:

The Republican

Press Release from the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General

Press Release from the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General

Michelle Cormier Mott

In the Courts