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GI Bill Scheme Defrauded 2,500 Student Veterans

July 13, 2018

The Federal Bureau of Investigation this week released details of a fraud scheme that bilked more than $24 million in Post-9/11 GI Bill funds, affecting more than 2,500 student veterans.

The scam, which the FBI called a "basic bait-and-switch," involved officials with Ed4Mil, an online correspondence course provider, and a now former dean of Caldwell University, a private institution located in New Jersey. The for-profit Ed4Mil recruited veterans and service members to enroll in what they thought were Caldwell courses. Instead the students were taking unaccredited correspondence courses.

The co-conspirators would charge up to $20,000 for correspondence courses that cost less than $1,000, the FBI said, while pocketing the difference. The scheme continued for about four years.

David Alvey, Ed4Mil's founder and president, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was sentenced last month to five years in prison. One of his employees also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to probation.

Lisa DiBisceglie, a former associate dean and associate vice president of academic affairs at Caldwell, pleaded guilty and was sentenced last month to six years of probation, Jersey Shore Online reported.

Caldwell has said current university officials had no knowledge of the fraud, and the FBI said the university cooperated fully in the investigation.

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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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