Seven people from Iowa City, Illinois and Indiana face federal charges that they applied for student loans to attend Kirkwood Community College but never enrolled — or intended to. An indictment unsealed this week alleges that a Rockford, Illinois man recruited people to provide their names, and a woman from Gary, Indiana applied for student loans using those names. An Iowa City woman’s charged with helping cash the checks they received. Kirkwood’s Steve Carpenter says the school had an enrollment this fall of 15-thousand-460 students. Some 40-to-50-percent of students at the school depend on some kind of financial aid, he says. The school may not have known about the scam although Carpenter says it’s now apparent they began applying — and apparently receiving mondy from federal student-loan programs some time ago. The indictment says from January of 2001 through March of this year the seven defendants applied for student aid but never intended to go to the school, and kept the money. If they’re convicted each could face a fine of a quarter-million dollars on each count they’re charged with, and one woman’s charged with seven counts of financial-aid fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s office says the defendants range from 31 to 65 years old.
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