Eye on Education

Ohio Couple Accused of Stealing $2.3 Million From Department of Education in Collge Financial Aid Scam

A Canton couple and one of their employees were indicted in connection with a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Education of more than $2.3 million through a financial aid scam.

John “Richard” Ceroni, 64, and Adale “Marie” Ceroni, 62, both of Canton, and Tammy Pyle, 43, of Waynesburg, Ohio were accused of obtaining fake high school diplomas for prospective students, fraudulently applying for financial aid on their behalf, and then enrolling them in Carnegie Career College, a college the Ceronis operated, according to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

The Ceronis are accused of spending the money they obtained through the aid scam to pay for jewelry, lingerie, tanning sessions, cruises, a Vegas vacation — and purchases at the University of Akron book store.

They used online high schools, including Australia-based Adison High School, to purchase fake high school diplomas and coursework transcripts for students who were not required to attend any classes or complete any coursework, according to the indictment.

Pyle took a “high school diploma test” for students, while at other times provided test answers to the students. Marie Ceroni paid Adison High School, which provided diplomas using the graduation date on which the student would have graduated from high school had they completed high school in the normal course, according to the indictment. According to the indictment, sometimes those dates predated general public access to the internet.

Read more at: www.wkyc.com

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