FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
| U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-4476
Contact: (215) 861-8200
United States reaches a settlement with Keane regarding federal student financial aid fraud and false statements.
PHILADELPHIA - Acting Assistant United States Attorney Laurie Magid today announced that the government has reached a settlement with Lisa Ann Keane, of Philadelphia, to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act regarding federal student loans. Keane will pay the United States $62,000 to resolve allegations that she falsified federal student financial aid applications in order to obtain college financial aid from the Department of Education ("DOE") for the benefit of her sons.
The Higher Education Act authorizes the United States to offer student financial assistance, including Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, and subsidized Perkins Loans and Stafford Loans. These programs are administered by DOE and provide federal monies to eligible post-secondary students in financial need. Eligibility is based on an evaluation of income. If a student has been supported by his or her parents in the previous year, then the student is considered a dependent student and both parents' income for the previous year is used to determine financial need.
"The positive results achieved through this case, and cases like this one, will help to send a message," said Magid. "The government is serious about protecting the sanctity of the federal student financial assistance programs for those individuals who are in true need of financial assistance."
According to the allegations in the Complaint filed today, during the school years 1998 through 2003, Lisa Ann Keane fraudulently omitted her husband's income in the federal student financial aid applications she filed on behalf of her sons, thus, qualifying her sons for federal student financial aid to which they were not entitled.
This case was investigated by Agent Geoff Wood of DOE's Office of Inspector General and was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Jacqueline Romero and Virginia Powell.