THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
MIDDLE DISTRICT of PENNSYLVANIA
Perry County Man Charged with Student Loan Fraud
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||September 27, 2012|
The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Robert Thomas Price, Jr., age 45, of Newport, PA, was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury in Harrisburg on charges of student loan fraud.
According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Price conspired with his former wife, a former employee of Harrisburg Area Community College, to apply for approximately $92,000 in private student loans and approximately $13,000 in federal student PELL grants and Stafford loans between 2005 and 2007. Over the course of three years, Price received the requested loans and grants which were to be used to pay for the cost of attendance at HACC by Price. Instead, Price allegedly used the funds to purchase illegal drugs, jewelry, tattoos, and vehicles.
In addition to conspiracy, Price is also charged with two counts of mail fraud related to the $5,000 checks representing Stafford loan payments he received.
If convicted, Price faces a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, Investigative Services, and the United States Department of Education, Office of Inspector General. HACC also cooperated with the investigators. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph J. Terz.
An Indictment or Information is not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the Grand Jury and/or United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged Defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proven the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or until the defendant has pled guilty to the charges.