Dallas Man Sentenced To 24 Months In Federal Prison For Committing Financial Aid Fraud At Local Community Colleges
Defendant Commits Offense While Waiting to Report to Federal Prison on Separate Conviction
DALLAS — A Dallas man who used family members’ personal identifiers and photos to apply for admission to, and receive financial aid from, certain institutions and colleges was sentenced this afternoon, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Desmond Ladell Johnson, 35, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to 24 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $22,442.00 in restitution. Johnson pleaded guilty in October 2013 to one count of financial aid fraud. He must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons in late August 2014.
At the hearing, it was noted that Johnson committed the instant crimes while on pre-sentence release for another conviction in the Northern District of Texas. Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property on May 19, 2009, and in November 2009, he was sentenced to serve 46 months in federal prison for that offense. He was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons exactly two months later, on January 19, 2010, which he did, to begin serving that sentence. It was during that two-month period that Johnson committed the financial aid fraud crimes.
According to documents filed in the case, between May 2009 and January 2010, Johnson used the personal identifiers, including social security numbers, dates of birth and photo identifications of several family members, including his brother, stepbrother and father, to apply for admission to, and financial aid from the Dallas County Community College District and Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC). Those family members had no knowledge that Johnson was using this information or receiving disbursed funds.
When an address was required or requested on applications and forms, Johnson would typically list an address where he resided, or over which he had control, as opposed to the correct address for the relevant family member. When a telephone number or email address was required, Johnson would typically list a telephone number and email address over which he had control, as opposed to the correct telephone number or email address for the relevant family member. Johnson also obtained a student identification card at TVCC under his brother’s name, but which contained Johnson’s picture.
Using this scheme, Johnson stole $25,429.00 that he used for non-educational purposes.
The U.S. Department of Education investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney P. J. Meitl prosecuted.