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Former Financial Aid Director Indicted for Fraud and Theft

February 4, 2022

A former director of financial aid at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Virginia was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury for allegedly stealing state and federal financial aid funds over almost a decade, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Keisha Pope, who served in her role from 2006 to 2017, procured financial aid for friends and family members and took a cut of the funding, which she spent on shopping trips and other personal expenses, according to the indictment. Pope is accused of securing financial aid for her son and ex-fiancé when they were not attending classes at the college. She also supposedly falsified documents to justify the financial aid disbursements, including forged medical documents to suggest that her goddaughter didn’t meet academic requirements because of a breast cancer diagnosis, despite no such diagnosis.

When confronted by college leaders about her relationship to some of the financial aid recipients in fall 2017, she allegedly denied knowing her son, goddaughter and cousin.

Pope faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of fraud and a mandatory two years in prison if convicted of aggravated identity theft.

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Sara Weissman

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