Greenwood Resident Sentenced to Submitting Fraudulent Federal Aid Applications
OXFORD, Miss. - Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, Yessyka Santana, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Department of Education Office of Inspector General, Southeastern Regional Office, and Craig Caldwell, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Birmingham Field Office, announced that:
Shantel McClung aka Shantel Davis, 31, of Greenwood, Mississippi, was sentenced on September 4, 2014, by United States District Judge Sharion Aycock, following her plea of guilty on February 18, 2014 to one count of mail fraud, one count of fraud in relation to student aid provided by the U.S. Department of Education, and one count of aggravated identity theft. The charges stem from a series of fraudulent applications for federal student aid submitted by McClung to the U.S. Department of Education. Each of the fraudulent submissions sought federal student aid for individuals enrolled in online classes, which individuals had no intention of completing the coursework or seeking a degree.
Judge Aycock ordered McClung to serve a total of 57 months in prison, followed by 3 years supervised release. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $374,000.00. McClung is scheduled to report to prison on October 27.
“Federal student aid exists so that individuals can pursue and make their dream of a higher education a reality. As the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Education, ensuring that those who steal student aid or game the system for their own selfish purposes are stopped and held accountable for their criminal actions is a big part of our mission,” said Yessyka Santana, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Department of Education Office of Inspector General's Southeastern Regional Office. "That’s why I’m proud of the work of OIG special agents and our law enforcement colleagues for holding Shantel McClung accountable for her criminal actions.”
Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi said: “The punishment imposed upon Shantel McClung reinforces the message that federal courts view her actions as serious crimes which warrant significant punishment. The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to holding those individuals who seek to profit from their fraudulent schemes accountable for their illegal activities.”
This case was investigated by the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General and the United States Secret Service.