News and Press Releases

Cranberry Township Woman Charged In Student Loan Fraud Scheme

March 13, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Cranberry Township, Pa., has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of bank fraud, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The 12-count indictment named Meredith L. Shuster, 34.

According to the indictment, Shuster fraudulently obtained private lender student loans by providing loan applications which included forged signatures of purported guarantors of the loans.  Shuster is also charged with identity theft.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 304 years in prison, a fine of $10,500,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Inspection Service, Postal Inspector Molly Hackimer, the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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