Federal prosecutors in Detroit have charged 11 people they say participated in schemes to steal at least $1 million in federal student loan funds.
The Justice Department said Thursday that the prosecutions "are aimed at shutting down federal student aid fraud rings ... seeking to exploit distance education programs to fraudulently obtain federal student aid."
The government says the 11 people are part of four fraud rings that operated independently of each other in 2006-2010.
It says one of the ringleaders recruited at least 40 people to apply as students for enrollment and aid, despite lacking high school diplomas or GEDs.
The government says the Education Department started an effort in 2010 to respond to "the vulnerability of distance education programs to fraud and abuse."
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