Michael Bostock was the CEO and founder of the California Technical Academy, a for-profit technical training school operating at three locations in Southern California. Eric Bostock was the director of student services. Both Bostocks were considered school-certifying officials (SCOs) by the Department of Veterans Affairs. SCOs keep track of enrollment, attendance, and course completion by the students who were veterans. They are also supposed to ensure that no more than 85% of a class’s students are funded by the Veteran’s Administration (VA). The VA uses the data provided by SCOs to tabulate tuition payments to schools, payments for housing and other payments to eligible veterans. SCOs normally are a trusted role from the viewpoint of the VA, and that is what the Bostock’s banked on.
The Bostocks orchestrated their fraudulent scheme through the September 11 GI Bill by submitting falsified enrollment, attendance, course completion, and grade records to the VA. Bostock and his co-conspirators also falsified course completion records to make it appear that enrolled veterans completed their programs, when in fact, they had not. In order to conceal their scheme, Bostock and his co-conspirators falsified veterans’ contact information by substituting phone numbers that Bostock and his co-conspirators controlled to ensure that regulators could not contact the actual veterans. When regulators called the falsified phone numbers to obtain information about the school, Bostock and his co-conspirators impersonated the students.
However, someone in the VA eventually figured out they were talking to a Bostock instead of a student and brought these two fraudsters to justice. On June 29, 2023, the Bostocks pleaded guilty to fraud. From January 2012 to June 2022, California Technical Academy received over $32 million in tuition payments for 1,793 enrolled students, while over $72 million was paid towards housing benefits for veterans. All in all, the Bostocks defrauded the VA for approximately $104,682,860, the largest known fraud case of the Sept. 11 GI Bill fraud.
Great job by the Veteran’s Association in stopping these fraudsters.
Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “An Idaho man took $105M in largest fraud scheme in GI Bill history” published by Idaho Statesman on June 29, 2023
A federal judge has sentenced a Nampa man for his involvement in a fraud scheme that stole nearly $105 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was the largest such case in the Post-9/11 GI Bill program’s history, the government said.
Michael Bostock, 54, founded the California Technical Academy, a for-profit school offering technical training programs at three locations near Los Angeles and San Diego, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Between January 2012 and June 2022, Bostock worked with two co-defendants to enroll unknowing veterans in courses, and also falsified records to make it look as if the courses had been completed.