Department of Education Fraud Lawyer

Serving Clients in Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Washington D.C. & Throughout the U.S.

Every year, the Department of Education disperses billions of dollars in loans and grants to school districts and private companies throughout the country. This money is supposed to educate children, often through unique or experimental projects that require significant support and funding in their embryonic stages.

But while most educators are dedicated, ethical individuals, the sad fact remains that some of this money is skimmed off the top or mis-directed. Fraud is a common problem in education funding.

James Shoemaker can help if you've become aware of Department of Education-related fraud and want to blow the whistle. Using the False Claims Act and other relevant statutes, we'll protect you and pursue the compensation you deserve.

If you need a whistleblower attorney with ample experience in cases involving Department of Education fraud, please call James Shoemaker today at 757.223.4560. Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein is located in Virginia, but we welcome cases from across the country.

Examples of DOE Fraud and How We Help

Like most large federal agencies, the Department of Education does much of its work through independent bodies across the country. The DOE will disperse money to local school districts to support programs or to private entities to provide goods and services.

This is necessary in a massive federal system of government. But overseeing all of these programs and catching every instance of fraud is quite impossible.

Whistleblowers have an important role to play in protecting the integrity of educational programs by reporting fraud to the relevant authorities. Examples of this fraud include:

  • Free lunch fraud
  • Student loan fraud
  • Failure to live up to agreed-upon standards
  • Embezzlement
  • Kickbacks
  • For-profit university fraud

This is an incomplete list, of course. If the fraud you observed does not fit into any of these categories, that does not mean you don't have a case. Don't hesitate to speak to us about your situation.

How Is DOE Fraud Reported?

In order to report Department of Education fraud, waste, abuse, misuse, or mismanagement of educational program funding, anyone may contact the Office of the Inspector General by filling out the Hotline Complaint Form. Through this form, complaints and concerns will be reviewed. Depending on the complaint or concern, an investigation, audit, or inspection will then be carried out.

As shared by the U.S. Department of Education, most of the reports sent through the Hotline Complaint Form regarding DOE fraud can involve ED employees, recipients of ED funds, schools, school officials, other educational institutions, contractors, lending institutions, collections agencies, or public officials. These reported circumstances often include but are not limited to:

  • Embezzlement or bribery of funds
  • Theft or misuse of Federal student aid funds
  • Knowledge of fraud involving a financial aid administrator, student loan servicer, or a collection agency
  • Knowledge that a school is not complying with laws involving Federal student aid or other ED program funding
  • Whistleblower reprisal
  • Theft or abuse of government property
  • Employee misconduct
  • Ethics violations by ED officials

Will Whistleblowers Always Be Protected When Reporting Fraud?

Under the legal protection of James Shoemaker, yes. Because it is unlawful for personnel action to be taken against anyone for whistleblowing, federal laws, as well as the dedicated team at our law firm, all help protect and provide potential compensation for people who may blow the whistle on parties committing U.S. Department of Education fraud. Often, these whistleblowers can be ED employees or former employees.

Under the False Claims Act, so-called "realtors" can recover a percentage of fines levied due to their disclosure. But you have to file the case and move quickly – the False Claims Act is first-come, first-served–there's no divvying up payouts. The first relator to file is the only one eligible for compensation.

If you've become aware of fraud related to a Department of Education program, please call James Shoemaker today at 757-223-4580.

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