Former Merrimack College Financial Aid Director Sentenced for Loan Fraud
BOSTON – The former Director of Financial Aid for Merrimack College was sentenced on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, for fraudulently obtaining Perkins Loan funding for students over a nine-year period.
Christine Mordach, 63, of Methuen, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris to one year and one day in prison. A restitution hearing was scheduled for June 22, 2015. In November 2014, Mordach pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud.
As the Director of Financial Aid for Merrimack College, Mordach was responsible for administering the Perkins Loan program at Merrimack College. The Federal Perkins Loan Program provides low-interest loans to help needy students finance the costs of post-secondary education. The United States Department of Education provides Perkins Loan funding to each participating school, and the school determines which students have the greatest need and disburses the funds accordingly. Each school’s revolving Perkins Loan fund is replenished by ongoing activities, such as collections by the school on outstanding Perkins Loans the school makes. If awarded a Perkins Loan, a student must complete and sign a Perkins Loan promissory note in order to receive the loan funds.
Between at least 1998 and 2007, Mordach caused Perkins Loan funds to be fraudulently disbursed to Merrimack College students. Specifically, Mordach disbursed the Perkins Loan funds to students without a signed promissory note and without the students’ knowledge or approval. Through at least September 2011, Mordach took actions to conceal the fraudulent loans from the students, their parents, and from Merrimack College.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Brian Hickey, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, Region I and II; and Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina E. Barclay of Ortiz’s Public Corruption Unit.