Pair pleads guilty in fi­nan­cial scheme against Col­lege of DuPage

Au­thor­i­ties say plot by Roselle cou­ple net­ted $200,000

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - CHICAGOLAN­D - By Clif­ford Ward Clif­ford Ward is a free­lance re­porter.

A Roselle cou­ple pleaded guilty Fri­day in con­nec­tion to what au­thor­i­ties said was a fi­nan­cial scheme against Col­lege of DuPage County that net­ted them $200,000.

In a ne­go­ti­ated set­tle­ment with DuPage County pros­e­cu­tors, Cedric Ramey, 43, and Mary Allen, 40, en­tered guilty pleas.

Ramey made a blind plea of guilty to one count of theft over $100,000 from a school or place of wor­ship, a Class X felony that car­ries a max­i­mum sen­tence of 30 years in prison and a min­i­mum term of six years. He is due back in court in March, and a date for sen­tenc­ing will prob­a­bly be set then.

His wife pleaded guilty to a Class 3 felony count of forgery and was sen­tenced to pro­ba­tion and 30 days in the DuPage County Jail. She was or­dered to pay $1,500 in resti­tu­tion to Col­lege of DuPage and $7,500 to the U.S. Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion.

Ramey and Allen were ar­rested in 2017 and charged with more than 20 felony counts al­leg­ing a scheme to de­fraud COD.

Au­thor­i­ties said the cou­ple re­cruited friends and ob­tained their per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, which was used to ap­ply for ad­mis­sion to COD and for fed­eral tu­ition loans and grants ad­min­is­tered through the col­lege.

Af­ter be­ing ad­mit­ted and ob­tain­ing fi­nan­cial aid, the re­cruited peo­ple would then with­draw from the COD cour­ses, which re­sulted in a tu­ition re­im­burse­ment sent to the re­cruit via check or de­posited elec­tron­i­cally in a bank ac­count. The re­cruit would then split the re­fund with Ramey and Allen, pros­e­cu­tors al­lege.

When a per­son re­ported to COD in 2013 that she had re­ceived a tu­ition bill from COD, but had never at­tended classes, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan that even­tu­ally fo­cused on the cou­ple, pros­e­cu­tors said. Au­thor­i­ties say the cou­ple op­er­ated the scheme be­tween 2012 and 2014.

Ramey and Allen were the only peo­ple charged in the scheme, au­thor­i­ties said.

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