October 30, 2013 — When educational institutions tap into federally funded programs with deceptive claims for reimbursement, they are in essence robbing the American taxpayers. The False Claims Act gives conscientious informants a way to work with the Justice Department to redress the problem. Under the qui tam language included in the Act, whistleblowers are authorized to file a lawsuit for the government’s benefit and share in its recovery.
DeVry’s Subsidiary Allegedly Misreported Student Enrollment Information to Obtain Government Funding
DeVry Inc. has been sued by two whistleblowers in a suit brought under both the federal False Claims Act and the Minnesota False Claims Act. The tipsters, who used to work for a customer of DeVry’s subsidiary, Advanced Academics, Inc. (“AAI”), filed the case in federal court in Minnesota on June 6, 2012. The case has been under seal since then to give the U.S. government and the Minnesota state government an opportunity to investigate the claims and make a determination about intervening in the case. Both decided not to intervene, so the whistleblowers and their qui tam attorneys will be pursuing the federal and state governments’ claims on their own. AAI and DeVry were served in October 2013.
According to Street Insider, the allegations pertain to state and federal funding awarded to Minnesota Transitions Charter Schools and Minnesota Virtual High School (MN). The informants allege that Minnesota Transitions and MN both received funding based on student enrollment data reported to certain government programs. Both schools, however, reportedly were awarded more government funding between 2008 and 2010 than they should have been for special education and other services. According to the whistleblowers, Minnesota Transitions and MN did not comply with certain rules governing the reporting of student enrollment data.
The only mention of DeVry in the complaint is to its status as the parent corporation to AAI. DeVry has announced that it will vigorously defend against the suit.
False Claims Act Lawsuits Key to Redressing Fraud Against the Government
Whistleblowers with uniquely valuable information about fraud in the education sector need to understand their interests under the False Claims Act before they notify the government. With a nationally recognized whistleblower practice, Waters & Kraus offers tipsters skilled representation in qui tam cases. Contact our False Claims Act lawyers by email or phone at 855.784.0268 to discover more about how we can protect and advance your interests.