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QUINCY MAN CONVICTED OF LYING ON STUDENT LOAN APPLICATION

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Brian Hickey, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General for Region I and II, and Steven D. Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office, announced today that THOMAS N. BYRNES III, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of student loan fraud before United States District Judge Nancy Gertner.

At today’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial, the Government’s evidence would have proven that in June 2008, Byrnes, 49, of Quincy submitted a promissory note to American Student Assistance and Wachovia Education Finance in applying for a Federal Stafford Loan. In the promissory note, which Byrnes submitted via the Internet, he represented that he was not then in default on any other student loans, when in fact he had defaulted on multiple student loans taken out in the 1990s. Byrnes took the 1990s loans out by using his 4 year old son’s Social Security Number. As a result of his deception, Wachovia Education Finance issued student loans and work study monies to Quincy College on his behalf in 2008.

Judge Gertner scheduled sentencing for February 8, 2011. Byrnes faces up to 20 years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine on the wire fraud counts. He faces up to five years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a $20,000 fine for student loan fraud.

The case was investigated by the Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General and U.S. Secret Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Mitchell of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

 

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