The Chronicle of Higher Education. September 4, 2013. ATI Enterprises Inc., a company that operates career-training centers in four states, will pay the federal government $3.7-million to resolve allegations that it falsely certified compliance with the federal student-aid programs’ eligibility requirements and submitted claims for ineligible students, the U.S. Department of Justice announced last month.
ATI came under scrutiny in Texas two years ago, when a state agency accused the company of submitting inaccurate information about students’ job-placement rates and ordered it to stop enrolling new students at its 16 campuses in the state. Similar allegations were lodged in two complaints filed under the False Claims Act, accusing the company of knowingly misrepresenting job-placement statistics in order to remain eligible to receive federal student-aid funds. The Justice Department joined the whistle-blowers in the false-claims litigation last September.
According to the Justice Department’s announcement, the settlement amount will be paid from funds supporting three letters of credit that ATI provided to the Department of Education. An additional $2-million will be disbursed from those funds to pay student-loan refunds in relation to cases that students filed against ATI.
The settlement agreement resolves both false-claims lawsuits, the announcement states. It adds that the claims settled by the agreement are allegations only, and that there has been no determination of liability.