Bryan Cohen Apr. 4, 2013, 7:47pm

PLYMOUTH, Mass. (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a lawsuit Wednesday against a Brockton-based for-profit school for allegedly misrepresenting job placement numbers and training to students.

Sullivan & Cogliano Training Centers allegedly made false and misleading statements on its website, in enrollment materials and in advertising related to the rate at which its students could obtain employment in their planned field of study. The school allegedly left its graduates with large debts and limited opportunities.

"We allege Sullivan & Cogliano deceived students by promising careers in the medical field with misleading ads and inflated placement rates," Coakley said. "We are conducting an extensive investigation into the for-profit school industry. For-profit schools are extremely expensive and heavily funded through federal student loans, so all taxpayers have a stake in this. If students do not receive these promised jobs and wind up in default, the students and taxpayers suffer the consequence while the schools continue to profit."

S&C allegedly told prospective students that virtually all students there would achieve jobs in the medical office field but counted jobs in big box and fast food stores toward its placement percentage. The training center allegedly claimed between 70 and 100 percent of graduates received jobs in a medical office, when the percentage was actually less than 25 percent.

S&C also allegedly made other misrepresentations including never telling students the classes at S&C were self-taught, exaggerating how long it would take to complete the program, the cost of certification fees and the types of clinical instruction offered by the school.

The lawsuit seeks penalties, attorney fees, restitution for affected students and changes in S&C's marketing, advertising and placement calculation methods.

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