Cutt Master Barber School Settles Allegations of False Claims Act Violations
EL PASO –Victor Phillips, owner of Cutt Master Barber School, LLC (Cutt Master), has agreed to pay $900,000 to settle allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by falsely submitting claims to the Veteran’s Administration (VA).
Cutt Master is a hair salon and barber shop school doing business in El Paso. In 2011 the Texas Veterans Commission approved Cutt Master offering veterans and active-duty military members educational courses for reimbursement under the GI Bill. The VA paid Cutt Master tuition and fees for covered courses.
The government alleged that Cutt Master received payments for claims that did not comply with VA requirements and submitted claims for courses not properly accredited. The government also alleged that Phillips falsely certified that he and Cutt Master complied with VA requirements regarding the appropriate ratio of VA students enrolled in their programs. Phillips and the government have agreed to resolve the dispute with Phillips paying $900,000.00 to the United States.
U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas and Department of Veterans Affairs OIG Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Breen of the South Central Field Office made the announcement.
The matter was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The claims asserted against the defendants are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eduardo R. Castillo handled this matter.