The U.S. Department of Justice has joined a lawsuit against the for-profit Stevens-Henager College that alleges that the school paid recruiters bonuses and incentive compensation in violation of federal law. The lawsuit, pending in federal court in Idaho, was filed by two former employees of the college who are pursuing the claims under a federal whistleblower law. The employees and the Justice Department accuse Stevens-Henager College and two affiliated schools, CollegeAmerica and California College of San Diego, of additional improprieties, including faculty members lacking minimum qualifications required by its accrediting body and officials falsifying student records. The lawsuit was disclosed by the Huffington Post. According to the 99-page Complaint filed in federal district court, the defendant schools have received more than $660 million in federal student aid since 2002. One of the alleged violations of federal law detailed in the lawsuit is a practice in which the schools "pay bonuses, commissions, and other forms of incentive compensation to employees in the admissions departments based directly and indirectly on the number of students that these employees enroll." The defendant schools deny any wrongdoing in the lawsuit, which is pending. Incentive compensation in enrollment has been a recurring problem at for-profit colleges. The federal whistleblower law provides an opportunity for employees and students who are witnesses to fraud to be rewarded financially for their reporting of such practices. If you wish to share a concern about improper practices at another college or trade school with an attorney, you may send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete this form.
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