50-50 Split

39588853 - graduation cap with financial aid text on assorted hundred dollar bills

Splitting things ”50-50” refers to fairness. Each person gets or takes responsibility for an equal share. For example, spouses can divide household chores – one partner does the dishes and the other one takes out the trash on a regular basis. You can also split a restaurant bill in half to make it easier to figure out who owes how much. The Sacramento Bee reports on a man in California who fraudulently obtained student loan funds and took a 50 percent cut for himself.

For more than three years, one man and an accomplice recruited more than 50 straw students to apply for student financial aid at three colleges. The applications contained false eligibility information. (Really? I would have never guessed that.) More than $200,000 in financial aid was distributed due to these bogus applications. The story states that even though most of the straw students signed up for classes, they withdrew after receiving their funds or failing grades. And as you might guess, the two fraudsters got to keep half of the proceeds for themselves. (That’s a pretty good cut.)

One of the 44-year-old fraudsters pleaded guilty to fraud and received a prison sentence of two years and nine months. The other one is awaiting sentencing.

My guess is that the judge is not going to go halfsies on the prison term. He’ll have to pay the total amount of time for his criminal acts.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Antelope Man Sentenced for Role in Student Loan Fraud Scheme,” written by Cathy Locke and published by The Sacramento Bee on February 6, 2014.

An Antelope man has been sentenced in federal court in Sacramento for his in a student loan fraud scheme.

Brent W. Wilder, 44, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley to two years and nine months in prison, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.