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Sunday, August 18, 2019

District of Columbia secures nearly $200,000 for consumers victimized by alleged student aid scam

By Mark Iandolo | Dec 13, 2017

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced Dec. 4 that Student Aid Center Inc. will pay $425,000 in restitution and civil penalties after allegations of deceiving student borrowers into paying fees for services that could be obtained for free.

“We will not tolerate scammers preying on district residents who worked hard to get an education and are now struggling to repay their student loans,” Racine said. “There are many free resources available to make repaying student loans easier, and consumers should be skeptical of any student loan debt relief company that charges advance fees. We will continue to aggressively pursue companies like this one that take advantage of our residents.”

According to Racine’s office, Student Aid Center misled consumers and charged up-front fees for student loan debt relief services. It will pay $192,824.95 to 233 consumers in the district as a form of restitution. Additionally, Student Aid Center will pay a $233,000 civil penalty.

“This win for consumers comes after hard work by our consumer protection team, and I’d like to thank Office of Consumer Protection director Phil Ziperman and assistant attorney general Ben Wiseman for their excellent legal work in this case,” Racine said.

The attorneys general of Florida, Kentucky and Washington state, as well as the Federal Trade Commission, have also sued Student Aid Center.

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Government of the District of Columbia