Friends and Family

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11153352 - student loan application form and mini graduation cap

It’s important to maintain good relationships with friends and family. They are a great support system during both good times and bad. A man from Danville, Virginia used his friends and family to support his student loan fraud scheme which stole more than a million dollars from eight higher education institutions. (Once his victims found out that they were pawns in his fraudulent scheme, no doubt they were very supportive of a just punishment.)

The 31-year-old Danville man created approximately 60 fraudulent student profiles using the websites for the Department of Education and the eight universities he victimized. Then, he enrolled his friends and family members in online courses to qualify for federal student loans in their names.

None of the people he enrolled ever completed any of the courses they were enrolled in. That didn’t matter because the federal student loans were already disbursed. (The victims were either given a failing grade or were withdrawn from the class.) The young man arranged to receive these fraudulent loans, which were probably spent on himself. (That’s just what fraudsters do.)

When the Danville man’s circle of family and friends had been thoroughly exhausted, he expanded his scheme to include others. He pretended to be a higher education employee and encouraged low-income residents to hand over their personal information so he could secure free government money and other benefits for them. (How many times have I said it? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.)

After pleading guilty to student loan fraud and aggravated identity theft, the young man from Danville, Virginia was sentenced to nine years and three months in federal prison. He must also pay back more than $1.1 million to the Department of Education and the eight universities he tried to scam. (It’s a given that this fraudster won’t have many visits from his previously supportive circle of friends and family while serving time behind bars.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, “Man sentenced to prison for student loan fraud,” posted on CBS19news.com on March 7, 2019.  

DANVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) — A man from Danville has been sentenced to prison for fraudulently enrolling people in online universities for his own personal financial gain.

Thirty-year-old Tyrone Dwayne Young was sentenced to nine years and three months in federal prison for student loan fraud, wire fraud and identity theft.

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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.