Woman sentenced for student loan fraud

A Greenville woman has been sentenced for fraudulently obtaining student aid.

32-year-old Lakeisha Arterberry, now of Memphis, pled guilty to one count of fraud last week. She’ll now spend 18 months in jail and pay nearly $250,000 in restitution after officials say she submitted a series of fraudulent applications for student loans.

While a news release from U.S. Attorney William C. Lamar only lists Arterberry as a defendant, the release says that the applications were for “individuals who were enrolled in online classes but who had no intention of completing the coursework or seeking a degree.”

After the sentencing, Neil Sanchez, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General’s Southern Region Office said that they must continue to pursue these cases to ensure that financial aid doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

“Federal student aid exists so that individuals can pursue and make their dream of a higher education a reality.  As the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of Education, ensuring that those who steal student aid or game the system for their own selfish purposes are stopped and held accountable for their criminal actions is a big part of our mission,” Sanchez said.

Lamar echoed Sanchez’s statement and said that the punishment must be significant in this case.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to holding those individuals who seek to profit from their fraudulent schemes accountable for their illegal activities.  The punishment imposed upon Lakeisha Arterberry reinforces the message that federal courts view her actions as serious crimes which warrant significant punishment.”

Arterberry is scheduled to report to prison on August 27.