Canada school paying penalties in Vermont

Keith Loria Jan. 4, 2011, 4:00pm

MONTPELIER, Vt. (Legal Newsline) - Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell announced on Tuesday that he has reached a settlement with a Canadian school that allegedly misrepresented that it was located in Vermont.

Stratford Career Institute, a correspondence school located in Mount Royal, Quebec, allegedly falsely insinuated it was located in Vermont on its academic materials, letterhead, website, envelopes and diplomas.

While the school does have an office in St. Albans, Vt., it is only used for shipping, receiving and administrative functions. No classes take place at the Vermont location, Sorrell says.

The settlement requires SCI to pay $10,000 in civil penalties and litigation costs to the state.

According to a 2006 state rule, use of a Vermont address to describe a location not actually located at the address would not be tolerated and would be considered a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.

"We welcome business from outside our state, but if a company is not actually based here, it cannot legally claim otherwise," Sorrell said.

The school offers non-accredited "distance education" or correspondence programs at the high school level and in a number of vocational areas, including training for medical office, nursing and veterinary assistants.

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