SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) - California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced steps on Friday that would allow her to file additional charges against a post-secondary education company that allegedly violated California false advertising and unfair competition laws.
Harris filed a lawsuit against Corinthian Colleges Inc. (CCI) in October, alleging the company engaged in false and predatory advertising, unlawful use of military seals in advertisements, intentional misrepresentations to students, and securities fraud. Harris filed a motion last week asking San Francisco Superior Court for permission to expedite a supplemental complaint that would enhance the original complaint.
The motion also indicates Harris' intention to move for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction against CCI to force the company to halt its allegedly misleading advertisements and tell prospective students about its financial troubles.
"It is unacceptable yet not surprising that Corinthian Colleges continues to illegally target vulnerable Californians-including low income individuals, single mothers and veterans returning from combat-by lying about its dire finances and failing to tell prospective students that the schools to which they apply will all be sold or closed," Harris said. "My office is seeking expedited action to force Corinthian Colleges to put the interests of its students above its rapidly shrinking profits."
On June 19, CCI informed investors of significant financial troubles and plans to close or sell its campuses. Last week, CCI signed an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education to sell or close its campuses to third parties in the near future. Harris alleged CCI failed to inform prospective students about its financial condition or its plan to close and sell its schools.
Harris' original complaint alleged CCI's predatory marketing efforts targeted vulnerable, low-income job seekers and single parents with annual incomes near the federal poverty line.