OIG: Office of Inspector General
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Investigative Report

The United States Attorney’s Office

Western District of Virginia

Department of Justice

United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy
Western District of Virginia

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

CONTACT: Brian McGinn
PHONE: 540-857-2974
FAX: 540-857-2179
EMAIL: Brian.McGinn@usdoj.gov


Brian And Miranda Salyer Stole More Than $173,000

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA -- A couple from Lebanon, Virginia, who bilked several banks out of more than $173,000 by receiving 15 fraudulent education loans, pled guilty yesterday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia to conspiracy to commit fraud.

Brian Salyer, 32 and his wife, Miranda Salyer, 29, both of Lebanon, Virginia, waived their right to indictment and pled guilty yesterday to an information. Brian Salyer pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Miranda Salyer pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

“Educational loans allow motivated people the opportunity to better themselves at institutes of higher learning. Those loans are not meant to be criminal income streams for con-artists like the defendants in this case,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “It is our duty to protect the lending institutions who provide opportunities to students across the country from falling victim to schemes like the one uncovered in this case.”  “I am proud of the work of OIG special agents in holding the Salyers accountable for their criminal actions,” said Mary Mitchelson, acting Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education.  “We will continue to aggressively pursue those who misappropriate education funds. America's students and taxpayers deserve nothing less.”

According to a statement of facts entered today in court, beginning in 2004 and continuing until 2007, Brian and Miranda Salyer submitted 15 fraudulent student loan applications to various lending institutions. These applications caused false pay outs of more than $173,668 to be received by the couple. The loan applications were submitted to lenders in Colorado, Massachusetts, Florida and New York.

In order to secure many of the fraudulent loans, the couple used a fraudulent signature of Miranda Salyer’s grandfather. The grandfather had previously agreed to co-sign for one student loan for hisgranddaughter, but not multiple loans. In addition to forging the Miranda’s grandfather’s signature, the couple also submitted information from his driver’s license without his consent.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Ashley B. Neese is prosecuting the case for the United States.

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Last Modified: 03/10/2010