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Feds charge man with student loan and grant fraud
A Grand Rapids man has been charged with allegedly committing student loan and grant fraud.
Brandon Kenon Rogers, 31, surrendered to U.S. Marshals on Oct. 6 after a federal grand jury indicted him for allegedly “defrauding the U.S. Department of Education of approximately $150,000,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan last month.
Rogers is accused of conducting wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said “the charges in an indictment are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.”
The charges allege that Rogers stole the identity of individuals to apply online for student loans and Pell Grants.
He was allegedly enrolled in local community colleges, including Grand Rapids Community College and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, while using the same identities, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Rogers was allegedly awarded the loans and grants, “without actually attending the classes as required.” He is accused of using the funds for his own personal gains.
Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said “these loans and granted programs are for students who want to better themselves with an education and obviously not for those who would take advantage to simply line their pockets. My office will not tolerate schemes like what we have alleged here.”
The allegations could have Rogers facing up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and an additional mandatory two years in prison for aggravated identity theft.
The Grand Rapids Community College Department of Public Safety, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service all investigated the case.
Timothy VerHey, an assistant U.S. attorney, will be presiding over the case.