As a counselor at the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA), Karen Lyke’s job was to assist those applying to the state’s Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program. The program is aimed at helping people with disabilities find and maintain employment and also provide funds for college education. It is a federally funded program, and those seeking assistance are required to provide identification and proof of need or disability. In her job, Lyke would review the documents for approval and forward to the appropriate authorities to issue a check. What did Lyke’s husband, Kevin Gregory, do for a job? He created fake students.
From 2016 to 2020, Gregory and Lyke used the names of actual friends and relatives as the names of fake disabled students seeking tuition assistance from the GVRA. Gregory and Lyke claimed that these fake students suffered from disabilities or illnesses like AIDS, cancer, psychosocial impairments, or muscular dystrophy. Gregory even used his own name as a student applicant! His disability? Pathological fraudster!
As proof of identification, Gregory provided the GVRA with manufactured images of fake driver’s licenses that listed the names of their friends and relatives. In one instance, Gregory created a fake driver’s license in his cousin’s name by using a mug shot image of an unknown individual from the internet as the driver’s license photograph.
Gregory then used photo-editing software to later authentic college transcripts, financial aid reports and proofs of registration from actual GVRA students currently in the system to support the claims that the fake students attended schools like Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia State University or the University of Georgia. None of the 13 fake students attended any of the purported colleges or universities. But the false documentation submitted by Gregory and processed by Lyke caused more than 230 checks to be issued totaling more than $1.3 million.
On October 4, 2022, Gregory and Lyke pled guilty to defrauding Georgia’s federally funded state tuition assistance program.
Outstanding job by the FBI with investigating this case.
Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on an article “Tex-husband of former state of georgia employee pleads guilty to stealing over $1.3 million by creating fake students with non-existent disabilities” published by Georgia news on October 10, 2022.
Kevin M. Gregory has pleaded guilty to conspiring with ex-wife and former Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency counselor Karen C. Lyke to forge educational records and to create fake students with non-existent disabilities and illnesses, as part of their sophisticated, multi-year scheme to steal more than $1.3 million.
“Gregory and Lyke exploited a government program designed to empower some of the most vulnerable Americans to achieve their educational and vocational goals,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Driven by greed, Gregory and Lyke forged medical, educational, and financial records to invent sham students with non-existent disabilities, resulting in an elaborate conspiracy that swindled taxpayers out of more than $1.3 million.”