Grand Rapids Man Sentenced In Student Loan And Tax Fraud Scam
Brandon Kenon Rogers Gets Four Years in Federal Prison
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney sentenced Brandon Kenon Rogers, 31, of Grand Rapids, to 48 months in prison and ordered him to pay $128,746.00 in restitution for committing student loan, grant and tax fraud.
Rogers pled guilty on November 28, 2017, and admitted that he 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 used the loans and grant funds for his own purposes without actually attending the classes as required. Rogers also used the stolen identities to obtain fraudulent income tax refunds.
The government stressed at sentencing that, while taxpayers generously allow cash-strapped students to get loans and grants to better themselves with an education, news that this money lined the pockets of a criminal would undermine support for the programs that benefit others.
U.S. Attorney Birge stated that, "I hope Rogers’s prison sentence sends a message that this kind of fraud won’t be tolerated here. I intend to make West Michigan a place for fraudsters to avoid."
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 Rogers was handled by Timothy VerHey, Assistant United States Attorney.