Fast Train Owner and Three Admissions Representatives Arrested for Theft of Federal Student Aid
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Yessyka Santana, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Education, Office of Inspector General (ED-OIG), and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that Alejandro Amor, 56, of Coral Gables, Jose W. Gonzalez, 53, of Port Orange, Michael Grubbs, 37, of Jacksonville, and Anthony Mincey, 57, of Jacksonville, have been charged in a fifteen count indictment with conspiracy to steal government funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and theft of government funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. If convicted, the defendants face up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and restitution, on the conspiracy count, and up to ten years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, and restitution on each substantive count. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Joan A. Lenard.
Defendant Amor made his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Chris M. McAliley. Defendant Gonzalez made his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge David A. Baker, in Orlando. Defendants Grubbs and Mincey made their initial appearances before United States Magistrate Judge Patricia D. Barksdale, in Jacksonville.
According to the indictment, from approximately August 2008 through May 2012, Alejandro Amor, the owner of a for-profit proprietary college called Fast Train, directed his admissions representatives, including Jose W. Gonzalez, Michael Grubbs, and Anthony Mincey, among others, to defraud the United States Department of Education, by recruiting students who were not eligible for federal student aid and falsifying student aid applications in order to obtain federal Pell Grants and Direct Loans. As a result of these fraudulent recruiting practices, Alejandro Amor, Jose W. Gonzalez, Michael Grubbs, Anthony Mincey, and others, caused Fast Train students to submit approximately 1300 fraudulent student aid applications, which yielded approximately $6.5 million in fraudulently obtained Pell Grant and Direct Loan funds.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ED-OIG and the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Perwin.
An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.