Corinthian Colleges, Inc. was yet another for-profit university that screwed over hundreds of thousands of people with pyramid schemes that promised a higher education at the end of some labyrinthine maze. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2015, and the U.S. government ruled that any students with outstanding debts should have those debts cancelled.
That was before Betsy DeVos became the U.S. Secretary of Education.
DeVos, the wife of pyramid scheme pioneer Dick DeVos and brother of famed mercenary Blackwater founder Erik Prince, was unsurprisingly unforgiving of the students who were conned by Corinthian. She stonewalled more than 100,000 loan forgiveness applications and continued pursuing debt payments from screwed-over students who couldn't pay them back. In 2018, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim finally told her to knock it off (legally).
Spoiler alert: she didn't listen.
So they landed back in court earlier this week on Monday, October 7, 2019. Judge Kim was (understandably) quite irate at having her court order violated sixteen thousand times by Devos's department. While the issue is still not completely resolved, the judge did threaten the possibility of tossing someone behind bars. From Bloomberg:
"I’m not sure if this is contempt or sanctions," U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim told lawyers for the Education Department at a hearing Monday in San Francisco. "I'm not sending anyone to jail yet but it’s good to know I have that ability."
"At best it is gross negligence, at worst it’s an intentional flouting of my order."
I'm not holding my breath for DeVos to actually spend any time in jail or prison, of course. But sometimes it's nice to dream.
(Image via Flickr)
Pyramid schemes are illegal, but "multi-level marketing" schemes are not; the difference is supposedly that pyramid schemes don't really sell anything -- they just sell the right to recruit people who will recruit people who will recruit people, each paying up the pyramid to their "uplines" -- while MLMs supposedly actually sell stuff.
Betsy DeVos used personal email accounts for her government work as the Secretary of Education in ‘limited’ cases, the Inspector General said. The report also found DeVos did not consistently preserve her government-related email messages properly, as is required by federal law.
The teachers' rebellion is a global phenomenon, and though it's been brewing for a long time, the public was a lot more skeptical of teachers' demands when they were striking in Democratic strongholds under a Democratic president.
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