Government: ATI fraudulently obtained student funds

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by BYRON HARRIS

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WFAA

Posted on September 2, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 3 at 9:53 AM

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 For the past three years, WFAA reporter Byron Harris has been investigating the for-profit trade school ATI.

Now the federal government has sued the company, alleging fraud to get money.

The federal suit accuses ATI recruiters of using high-pressure tactics to recruit ex-convicts and homeless people as students, even though many of those people would never be able to get a job because of their criminal records or skills.

Once the students enrolled in courses like business administration, welding and health care, the suit says ATI falsified student grades and attendance records to acquire more federal money than those students would have been entitled to.

The suit also accuses ATI of falsifying job placements.

ATI has 16 campuses in Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and Florida, and Dallas Nursing Institute in North Texas.

The federal government says ATI took in at least $236 million in federal grants and loans between 2005 and 2012. The suit does not say how much of that money was acquired fraudulently.

ATI is now owned by a private equity firm based in London.

E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

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