OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JOHN F. WOOD
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
FEBRUARY 12, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THREE FORMER VATTEROTT EMPLOYEES INDICTED
FOR FINANCIAL AID FRAUD
STUDENTS RECEIVED FAKE GED CERTIFICATES,
FALSIFIED FEDERAL AID FORMS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that three former employees at the Kansas City, Mo., campus of Vatterot College have been indicted by a federal grand jury for fraudulently obtaining federal financial aid for ineligible students by providing false general equivalency diplomas (GEDs) and falsifying financial aid forms.
Dominic L. Campbell, 37, of Kansas City, Mo., Dale Odei Marbell, 32, a citizen of Ghana residing in Indianapolis, Ind., and Kevin Earl Woods, 46, of Louisville, Ky., were charged in a 37-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Feb. 5, 2009. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon Marbell’s arrest and initial court appearance in the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis this morning.
The federal indictment alleges that, from August 2005 to July 2006, Campbell, Marbell and Woods participated in a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of Education by obstructing the government’s function of providing financial assistance to eligible students, and to fraudulently obtain federal student grants and student loans on behalf of Vatterott College.
According to the indictment, all three defendants began working at Vatterott College as admissions representatives. Woods, who began working for Vatterott in November 2003, was eventually promoted to campus co-director, a position he held until June 2006. As campus co-director, Woods was responsible for overseeing the Kansas City campus of Vatterott, including the financial aid and admissions departments and including the approval of all prospective student enrollment agreements. Campbell, who began working for Vatterott in December 2004, was eventually promoted to director of enrollment, a position he held until his termination in July 2006. As director of enrollment, Campbell was responsible for supervising approximately 12 admissions representatives, including Marbell. Marbell, who began working for Vatterott in July 2005, was an admissions representative until his termination in July 2006.
Campbell, Marbell and Woods allegedly enrolled students at Vatterott whom they knew were ineligible to receive federal funding. Not only did Vatterott obtain federal funds it was not entitled to receive, the indictment says, but the defendants took credit for artificially inflated enrollment numbers at Vatterott to increase the likelihood of promotion and advancement. For example, the indictment alleges that Woods obtained a $5,000 salary increase for Campbell, based at least in part upon the number of students Campbell was enrolling at Vatterott College.
The indictment alleges that students who had neither graduated from high school nor obtained a GED certificate – and were therefore ineligible to receive federal student financial aid – were portrayed by the conspirators as qualified to receive such assistance. The indictment also alleges that Marbell manufactured and/or obtained false GED certificates to place in students’ folders to make it appear as if they had obtained a GED.
Some students were allegedly instructed to list fictional dependants on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms, believing it would result in increased student financial aid for Vatterott College tuition.
In addition to the conspiracy, Campbell, Marbell and Woods are each charged separately with 12 counts of obtaining federal funds by fraud, involving 19 different students.
Wood cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Ketchmark. It was investigated by the Department of Education – Office of Inspector General.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at