OIG: Office of Inspector General
   Current Section

Investigation Report

Department of Justice

Northern District of Iowa

January 14, 2011

Contact: Bob Teig
Hach Building,
Suite 400,
401 1st Street, S.E.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401-1825
Phone: (319) 363-0091
Fax: (319) 363-1990

Michael Cortez, Cedar Rapids Man Sentenced To Prison for Student Loan Fraud

A man who participated with others in a scheme to fraudulently obtain federal student loans pled guilty today in federal court in Cedar Rapids

Michael Cortez, 31, from Cedar Rapids, was convicted of one count of mail fraud.

At the guilty plea hearing, Cortez admitted participating in a scheme with others to fraudulently obtain federal student loan money. As part of the scheme, Cortez and others applied for federal student aid in other people’s names and arranged for a federal loan proceeds check to be directed to a post office box under his and his co-schemer’s control.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Cortez remains free on bond pending sentencing. Cortez faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment without the possibility of parole; a fine of up to (a) twice the gross gain resulting from the offense, (b) twice the gross loss resulting from the offense, or (c) $250,000; a mandatory special assessment of $100; and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter E. Deegan, Jr. and was investigated by the United States Department of Education and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl. The case file number is CR11-2.

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Last Modified: 01/27/2011