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College Used Strippers as Student Recruiters, Feds Say

December 4, 2014

The legal pursuit of a defunct for-profit college in Florida and its former owner gets wilder with each filing. A new civil suit filed by a U.S. attorney and the state's attorney general, Pam Bondi, alleges that FastTrain College defrauded the federal government with false claims for millions of dollars in financial aid.

The seven-campus for-profit, which offered credentials in IT and medical professions, closed in 2012. In October the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Alejandro Amor, the college's former owner, and three of its admissions representatives. They were charged with the theft of government funds. FastTrain allegedly submitted fraudulent aid claims for 1,300 students, netting $6.5 million.

According to the civil suit, however, the college received more than $35 million in Pell Grants and other federal aid. And, as The Miami Herald reported, the lawsuit said one campus "hired attractive women and sometimes exotic dancers and encouraged them to dress provocatively while they recruited young men in neighborhoods to attend FastTrain."

Amor, who owned a $2 million home, 54-foot yacht and private plane, faces multiple charges that could include jail time. 

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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