GREENBELT, Md. (WJZ) — A former financial aid advisor has been charged in connection to a decade-long scheme to fraudulently obtain student aid.
Randolph Stanley, 42, of Clinton, has been charged with the conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to the affidavit, Stanley allegedly led the scheme to obtain state and federal student aid using approximately 60 students enrolled at “University 1.”
Stanely was employed with the Defense Contract Audit Agency since October 2008. He was previously employed as a Financial Advisor at “University 1” from 2005 until 2007. He also reported to the DCAA that he was Director of Student Finances for “University 2” from June 2008 until October 2008. Stanley claimed to have counseled enrolled and prospective students, and faculty and staff on the financial aid process.
The affidavit alleges that between 2005 and 2021, Stanley fraudulently obtained federal student aid on behalf of “Student Participants” enrolled in at least 8 universities. These participants would allegedly receive federal student aid but were not legitimate students as “they lacked the intent to earn a degree.” As part of the fraud scheme, “Student Participants” either allowed their personally identifiable information to be used on financial forms or it was used without their knowledge.
The affidavit also alleges that at least 65 participants including Stanley were awarded approximately $6.7 million in federal student aid between 2005 and 2021. At least $6.2 million was dispersed to the participants. Stanely would allegedly keep all or some of the student refunds. He would occasionally share the money with other participants.
The criminal complaint alleges that Stanely paid a portion of the loan refunds to Africa-based “Writer Participants” who would complete the coursework for the “Student Participants” in the scheme to maintain student eligibility. The “Writer Participants” would directly submit assignments using the “Student Participants” usernames and passwords, falsely claiming to be the student. They would provide the assignments to Stanley or the “Student Participants” for submission.
Stanely maintained 4 separate bank account to conduct transactions related to the scheme. Some of the “Student Participants” would allegedly direct universities to deposit student loan refunds into Stanley’s personal bank accounts. “University 1” records show that from 2015 to 2018, more than $530,000 in student loan refunds for “Student Participants” other than Stanley, into four of Stanley’s bank accounts.
Stanely’s shame allegedly extends to submitting fake documents on behalf of “Student Participants” to meet admission requirements. The affidavit alleges that he and a second co-conspirator arranged for foreign nationals to create fraudulent diplomas and documents to qualify “Student Participants” for admission.
Stanely faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud if convicted.