OIG: Office of Inspector General
   Current Section

Investigative Reports

March 9, 1999

U.S. Attorney's Office
Marvin Smilon, Herbert Hadad
Public Information Office
(212) 637-2600

Stanley J. Okula, Jr.
(914) 993-1961

New York Woman Convicted of Student Loan Fraud

MARY JO WHITE, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that GAIL ROBERSON was sentenced yesterday in White Plains federal court to 18 months in prison for her role in a scheme to defraud the United States Department of Education and certain financial institutions in connection with applications for college student aid. ROBERSON pled guilty to a one-count mail fraud Indictment on November 17, 1998.

According to the Indictment and a Complaint previously filed in the case, ROBERSON submitted four federal student loan applications between September 1997 and February 1998, using her own name and the names of certain relatives. The student aid applications, which sought a total of $69,000, were bogus in that they falsely represented that the person named on the application intended to attend medical school at the American University of the Caribbean ("AUC"), in St. Maarten, whereas, in fact, neither ROBERSON nor the persons listed on the application intended to do so. In addition, the applications submitted by ROBERSON contained forged certifications from officials of AUC indicating that the persons listed on the applications were attending AUC, whereas, in fact, none of the persons listed ever attended AUC. As a result of. the scheme, ROBERSON fraudulently obtained approximately $18,500.

Court records also indicated that after being charged in the case and released on bond, ROBERSON tried to get the charges against her dismissed and her bail restrictions lessened by presenting to the Court and the United States Attorneys Office medical records that falsely indicated she was suffering from a brain tumor when, in fact, she was not.

In addition to the 18-month sentence, which was ordered to run consecutive to a current two-to-four year state sentence for credit card fraud, United States District Judge CHARLES L. BRIEANT sentenced ROBERSON to three years of supervised release and restitution in the amount of $18,500.

ROBERSON is a resident of Poughkeepsie, New York.

Ms. WHITE praised the United States Department of Education for its efforts in this investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney STANLEY J. OKULA, JR. is in charge of the prosecution.

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