Danville Man Sentenced to 61 Months in Prison for Student Loan Fraud
James Waller Jr. Obtained Identities, Applied for Student Loans without Authorization
Danville, VIRGINIA – A Danville man, who obtained the identities of individuals in the Danville and Martinsville regions in order to apply for fraudulent student loans in their names to steal money from lenders, was sentenced yesterday in the United States District Court in Danville for a variety of federal charges, United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced.
James Willie Waller Jr., 29, was sentenced yesterday in District Court to 61 months in prison and ordered to pay $117,000 in restitution. Waller previously pleaded guilty to one count of student loan fraud, one count of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to evidence presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Donald R. Wolthuis and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kari Munro, Waller devised a scheme in which he obtained the personally identifying information (PII) of individuals in the Danville and Martinsville regions of Virginia. The defendant used the obtained PII to apply for student loans to online colleges and universities, without the consent of those whose information he obtained.
Waller fraudulently applied for student financially aide and enrolled in online courses using the PII he procured. The U.S. Department of Education then sent grant and loan monies to the online schools to cover tuition and living expenses. The schools, in turn, caused debit cards to be issued in the names of the fictitious students. The debit cards were directed to a variety of mailing addresses throughout Danville and Martinsville, as orchestrated by Waller. Waller then used the cards for his own personal use.
In all, Waller received more than $117,000 in money to which he was not entitled.
The investigation of the case was conducted by Virginia State Police, The Department of Education – Office of the Inspector General and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Donald R. Wolthuis and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kari Munro prosecuted the case for the United States.