Two whistleblower suits, filed by former deans against for-profit Globe University, allege that the university has been engaged in education fraud. Former deans Jeanne St. Claire and Heidi Weber have filed separate lawsuits alleging that the university fired them for raising concerns about misleading practices, such as alleged:
- Violations of accreditation standards;
- Commission payments to recruiters for bringing in students;
- Failure to inform students about the consequences of felonies and other problems for their job prospects;
- Exaggeration of the university’s job placement statistics;
- Inflation of the university’s graduation rates; and
- Failure to provide sufficient training for its students.
Specifically, Minnesota Public Radio reports that Ms. Weber alleged that one of the major employers of the university’s students, Allina Health Systems, would no longer hire students from Globe University because of the for-profit university’s dropping accreditation standards. Globe allegedly failed to share this information with current or prospective students.
Ms. Weber also alleged that, when she brought her concerns to the owner, Provost, and other Globe University executives, they seemed neither surprised nor concerned—except, perhaps, about her continuing to raise the issues. Ms. Weber reports that she was fired shortly thereafter.
When Ms. St. Claire raised her concerns about misrepresentation of job placement statistics and graduation rates, she alleges that she was told by officials that she should mind her own business. Ms. St. Claire alleges that she was fired last October after raising her concerns.
Education fraud is a significant problem because for-profit universities are motivated to maximize federal grants and student loans that provide income to them. Each year, the Department of Education provides billions of dollars to students pursuing higher education, and when for-profit universities aggressively recruit unqualified students, they both divert funds from deserving candidates and do a disservice to those students who are unlikely to succeed in their programs.
Waters & Kraus is a national firm with highly skilled lawyers practicing qui tam litigation in four offices, including Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Baltimore. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing whistleblowers in a variety of fraud cases. Contact us or call our attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can assist.