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Press Release

Matthew Courtney to Pay $700,000 to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that MATTHEW COURTNEY will pay $700,000 to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act. COURTNEY was the owner of two schools, Louisiana Shooters Unlimited and Arete Training Group, both of which had been certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Louisiana Department of Veteran’s Affairs to receive VA educational funding to provide classes to eligible veterans.

The settlement resolves allegations that COURTNEY submitted false claims in order to obtain payments from the VA. The United States contends that during the period from March 2013 through September 2017, COURTNEY represented to the VA that Arete and LSU were in compliance with 38 C.F.R. § 21.4201 and 38 U.S.C. § 3680A (commonly known as the 85-15 Rule), when the schools were not. COURTNEY also created false enrollments for VA students for particular courses when they did not enroll in the courses. Furthermore, COURTNEY failed to notify the VA when a student failed to attend a course and when a student dropped a course. By doing so, COURTNEY failed to repay the overpayment that was due to the VA.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General with the investigation leading to the settlement.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Loan “Mimi” Nguyen and Shirin Hakimzedah.


Updated January 22, 2020

False Claims Act