Brian Gravely, a former official of National American University, recently accused the for-profit school of essentially stealing millions of dollars from the federal student loan program. With the recent shut down of several for-profit “higher education institutions,” could National American University be next?
In a federal lawsuit, Gravely, formerly the Legal Studies Director for the school, was fired in 2016. He accused the school of paying illegal bonuses to university employees who would recruit students. He also alleged that the school hid flaws in its medical assisting program to ensure that it was properly accredited.
National American University “Knowingly and Intentionally Made These Fraudulent Misrepresentations”
Regarding the millions of dollars in federal student loan dollars, Gravely alleged in his federal lawsuit that National American University “…knowingly and intentionally made these fraudulent misrepresentations to the federal government to receive millions of dollars in federal money through student loans.” Gravely alleged that the school lied about their revenue which broke a law stating that for the purposes of accreditation, a school can receive no more than 90% of its revenue from federal student aid.
Gravely filed the lawsuit on behalf of the federal government under the False Claims Act. Under the False Claims Act, a private citizen may essentially file a lawsuit as a whistleblower in an effort to protect the federal government. When False Claims Act lawsuits are successful, the plaintiff-citizen generally receives money from the lawsuit as compensation for their good deed. False Claims Act lawsuits are commonly filed in regards to healthcare and federal insurance programs such as Medicare.
Auditors Previously Reviewed National American University’s Medical Assisting Program
Gravely pointed out in the lawsuit that auditors previously reviewed National American University’s medical assisting program, located in Minnesota, to determine whether it should receive national accreditation. According to the complaint, Gravely alleged that employees of the college changed student files so that the program would receive proper accreditation. However, he also went on to state that the college couldn’t find enough internships for that particular program and placed students in chiropractic offices which violated accreditation standards.