Pair pleads guilty in financial scheme against College of DuPage
Authorities say plot by Roselle couple netted $200,000
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.