Bryan Cohen Aug. 27, 2013, 7:05pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced an order Tuesday against a for-profit educational company that allegedly charged students hundreds of dollars for courses after losing its license.

On Monday, Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning issued an order temporarily barring Thomas Healthcare Institute Inc. and its owners, Levette and Joseph Blount, from advertising or offering educational services or products in the state while the case moves forward. Cooper filed a complaint against Thomas Healthcare that seeks a permanent ban on the company's allegedly deceptive practices and refunds for students.

"Students seeking to improve their skills and launch new careers instead found themselves out several hundred dollars with little or nothing to show for it," Cooper said. "Let my office know if you see companies trying to take advantage of job-seekers so we can take action."

On Feb. 6, the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges revoked Thomas Healthcare's license to teach vocational classes for failure to meet required financial and instructional standards. Thomas Healthcare allegedly continued to offer vocational and exam preparation courses without the required license. The company also allegedly moved its classes without warning and failed to provide refunds to at least one of its students.

"Always check out a trade school or vocational program thoroughly before you pay any money to enroll," Cooper said. "Also, remember that your local community college may offer the training you need at a fraction of the cost."

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