Coushatta woman, others sentenced in college loan fraud scheme

COUSHATTA La.

A Coushatta woman who got student aid and loans for which she wasn’t qualified and filled in forms so others could, too, must spend nearly 3 years in prison and repay $30,500, and two relatives will serve lesser sentences.

U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell sentenced Anita Morris, 35, to 2 years and 9 months in prison Monday, U.S. Attorney Donald W. Washington said.

Kevin Morris, 30, of Robeline was sentenced to 15 months and ordered to repay $6,650, and Ruth S. Frazier, 56, of Marthaville, must repay nearly $5,800 and spend five years on probation, said Washington.

He described them as a “family of thieves who sought to steal monies provided by the American taxpayer to help the truly needy achieve a college education.”

A third co-defendant, Dorris Morris, will be sentenced July 12.

Anita Morris pleaded guilty in March to one count each of conspiracy to commit student aid fraud and making false statements on the bank loan application to get a student loan for her and others. Testimony showed she got people who were not qualified for the university or had no plans to go to apply for student aid.

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General and Northwestern State University Police Department investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Gillespie Jr.

Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com

– Associated Press



© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com