There is barely a nook or cranny in the Land of the Free that hasn’t been tainted by inappropriate if not downright illegal conduct, be it influence peddling, graft, siphoning off funds for personal use, misuse of public funds or other shenanigans.
Look no further than the burgeoning scandal in the student aid industry to see the extent of the rot.
Loan officers at Johns Hopkins,
Translation: The companies paid the officers consulting fees and other enticements to divert students needing financial aid to them.
In the case of Johns Hopkins, lender Student Loan Xpress paid aid officer Ellen Frishberg about $42,000 for consulting and more than $21,000 in tuition reimbursement from 2002 through 2005. During that period, the company was listed as a the university’s preferred lender, and more than 40 percent of Johns Hopkins's students took out loans through the company.
Wait, it gets worse.
According to one investigation, Student Loan Xpress also paid the financial aid director at
Financial aid officers Columbia University, the University of Texas–Austin, and the University of Southern California–held stock in Student Loan Xpress, while the U.S. Department of Education official responsible for parts of the student loan program at one point owned at least $100,000 worth of stock in Student Loan Xpress's parent company.
Frishberg, the other aid officers as well as the federal official have all been suspended.