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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 6, 2017

Feds Charge Grand Rapids Man With Student Loan And Grant Fraud

Grand Jury Says Brandon Kenon Rogers Defrauded Treasury of Nearly $150,000

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that a federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Brandon Kenon Rogers, 31, of Grand Rapids, with student loan and grant fraud. The grand jury charged Rogers with defrauding the U.S. Department of Education of approximately $150,000 in a wire fraud scheme and with committing aggravated identity theft as part of the scheme. Rogers surrendered himself to U.S. Marshals today and was released on bond after appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ray Kent. U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney will handle further proceedings in the case.

          The indictment alleges that Rogers defrauded the U.S. Department of Education by obtaining the identity information of others and posing as those individuals while applying online for Student Loans and Pell Grants in their names. He also enrolled online in local community colleges, including Grand Rapids Community College and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, using those same identities. Rogers was awarded loans and grants and allegedly used them for his own purposes without actually attending the classes as required.

          Wire fraud carries a maximum possible penalty of 20 years in prison plus other penalties. Aggravated Identity Theft carries a mandatory two-year prison term, which must be served after the completion of any other sentence.

          Acting U.S. Attorney Birge advised that: "These loan and grant programs are for students who want to better themselves with an education and obviously not for those who would take advantage to simply line their pockets. My office will not tolerate schemes like what we have alleged here."

          The Grand Rapids Community College Department of Public Safety, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service investigated this case. Prosecution of the Rogers will be handled by Timothy VerHey, Assistant United States Attorney.

          The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.

END

Updated October 8, 2017