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Press Release

Covington Woman Sentenced For Student Loan Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Georgia

Michael J. Moore, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia announced Kamiecy Lashia Waller, age 33, of Covington, Georgia was sentenced August 13, 2015 by the Honorable Marc T. Treadwell, United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia in Macon, Georgia.

Ms. Waller was sentenced to 33 months imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $229,424.00 to the Department of Education for mail fraud involving a scheme to obtain Government issued student loans.           

On May 16, 2012, Jasper County Sheriff’s Office executed an arrest warrant for Ms. Waller pursuant to a tip that she was committing fraudulent activity at her home in Monticello, Georgia. Ms. Waller was subsequently interviewed by the Covington Police Department and admitted to using the internet to apply for and fraudulently obtain federal student aid loans for more than thirty individuals. These individuals were not eligible for the student loans because they did not have either a GED or a high school diploma.

A search warrant of Ms. Waller’s residence uncovered state drivers licenses, tax forms, social security cards and school documents, as well as documents written by Ms. Waller detailing course information from Rio Salado College, the primary online academic institution targeted by the scheme. A subsequent investigation revealed that over the course of two years, Ms. Waller actively recruited approximately thirty-two students in furtherance of her scheme to defraud. Typically, she would charge the participant a minimum of $650 for getting them registered in college and taking the online courses for them until financial aid was paid and an overage check sent to the student or Ms. Waller.

Law enforcement determined some of the checks were deposited directly into Ms. Waller’s bank account. Other checks were sent through the U.S. Postal Service to her or to the participant. Ms. Waller’s fraudulent submissions caused the Department of Education to award $430,639.00. Of that, $229,424.00 was actually dispersed to the target college.

"Student loan programs often provide the only way for would-be college students to pursue a college degree,” U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said. “In that regard, they are almost sacred to those students who can't afford to follow their dreams without access to student loans. Through her scheme, Ms. Waller stole loan money from a program that has as its only purpose making a college education accessible. Her actions jeopardized the dreams of deserving students, and now she'll be sitting in prison for almost as long as it would take to get a college degree. There is something quite ironic in the sentence handed down by the court."

The case was investigated by the Department of Education Office of Inspector General, Special Agent Christopher Maisano. Assistant United States Attorney Sonja Profit represented the Government in the prosecution of the case.

Inquiries regarding the case should be directed to Pam Lightsey at the United States Attorney’s Office at 478-752-3511.

Updated February 4, 2016

Financial Fraud