Fraudster Flunk Out

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Most people like to get things for free, but an article posted on MassLive.com tells about a former Massachusetts university employee who takes the concept of free to a new, lower level. This particular young adult was not entirely happy with just receiving a free education as one of her employee benefits; she wanted to be paid for her free degree. So she illegally applied for and received a federal student loan.

The article explains that the woman worked in the registrar’s office and after about four years of employment, she enrolled in the university’s MBA program, taking advantage of her free education benefit. Over the course of several semesters, she used her administrative privileges to give herself passing grades in classes she didn’t attend. Ironically, she gave herself an ”A” in an ethics class. (Fraudsters usually become overconfident when pulling off a scam.)

The 28-year-old owned up to illegally receiving $48,000 in federal funds by pretending to be a graduate student. (She bought quite a few personal items and took a vacation or two or three.)

The fake college student pleaded guilty for stealing student loan funds in spite of the fact she already had a free education. She is facing a five-year prison sentence, three years of supervised release and a $20,000 fine. (Sounds like she’ll have plenty of time behind bars to study up on what she did wrong.)

This fake student not only flunked out of school, but she also failed as a fraudster. It looks like the justice system is going to throw the book at her.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Suffolk University employee admits stealing $48,000 in student loans, faking her own grades,” posted on masslive.com on June 20, 2016.

BOSTON – A former employee of Suffolk University has pleaded guilty to student loan fraud for taking out federal loans despite a free education and faking her own grades.

The office of U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz said Ashley Ciampa, 28, of Medford, admitted obtaining nearly $48,000 by pretending to be a graduate student at Suffolk.

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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.