OAKLAND -- Three East Bay residents were arrested this week following an indictment last month for conspiracy to commit financial aid fraud by signing up "straw students" at local colleges, including Ohlone, Chabot and City College of San Francisco, federal authorities said.
A federal grand jury in Oakland returned an indictment on Aug. 15, charging Hayward resident Kyle Edward Moore, 29; San Lorenzo resident Marcel Devon Bridges, 26; Oakland resident Derricka Lynn Fluker, 23; and Arizona resident Cortio Detrice Wade, 39, with conspiracy as well as multiple counts of wire fraud.
Moore is alleged to have conspired with Wade, Bridges and Fluker to obtain federal loans and grants offered by preparing and transmitting fraudulent applications for federal student aid to the U.S. Department of Education, according to the indictment.
Federal authorities said the four recruited people to serve as "straw students," then assisted the students in preparing, signing and transmitting fraudulent federal aid forms.
The straw students had not earned high school diplomas, and had no intention of attending school or using the funds for educational purposes. After receiving the funds, Moore and his co-defendants would share the money among themselves and sometimes with the straw students.
Moore, Bridges and Fluker were arrested on Wednesday and appeared in federal court in Oakland later that day. They were released on bonds and are slated to be back in court on Oct. 18. Wade was arrested in Phoenix and also appeared in court Wednesday. It was not immediately known if she was still in custody.
They each face up to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit financial aid fraud and a maximum fine of $250,000. The maximum penalty for each count of wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.