FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
| U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Western District of Pennsylvania
United States Post Office & Courthouse
700 Grant Street, Suite 4000
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Woman Charged with Submitting False Financial Aid Application
United States Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan announced today, August 15, 2006, that Jessie Anderson of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of Fraudulently Obtaining Department of Education Funds.
The one-count indictment named Anderson, age 48, as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment, between March, 2004 and December, 2004, Anderson obtained federal higher education assistance funds by falsely representing her total available income and assets on a Free Application for Federal Student Aid submitted to the United States Department of Education.
Assistant United States Attorney Dennis P. Kissane, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Special Agent Bruce Lance of the United States Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.