U of San Francisco Settles AmeriCorps Fraud Allegations

May 27, 2020

The University of San Francisco agreed to pay more than $2.5 million to resolve allegations that it presented false and fraudulent documents to obtain grants through the AmeriCorps national service program, the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of California announced Friday.

Prosecutors say that USF obtained the funding to support a teacher residency program that allowed students working toward teaching degrees to earn living allowances and money for tuition costs by working as teacher apprentices in high-need schools. Prosecutors allege that the director of the residency program falsified more than 1,500 time sheets and falsely certified approximately 61 education awards between 2014 and 2016 to qualify the program and its students for more than $1.7 million in federal grant funds.

The Justice Department said USF voluntarily relinquished the grant and cooperated in the investigation, which was spurred by a whistle-blower complaint.

USF did not admit wrongdoing or liability as part of the terms of the settlement; indeed, the settlement agreement states that USF "fully denies" the allegations. The Associated Press quoted a statement from the Jesuit university’s vice president for marketing communication saying USF was pleased to resolve a case that had been ongoing for four years.

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