Baton Rouge man indicted after financial aid fraud

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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- Elliott Sterling, 32, was indicted ‘Fraud Scheme and Money Laundering Related to Financial Aid Fraud’, according to the United States Department of Justice.

From September 2017 till November 2019, Sterling would register individuals in classes at Baton Rouge Community College and collect the financial aid on his behalf.

The man has been charged ‘wire fraud, financial aid fraud, and engaging in monetary transactions involving property derived from specified unlawful activity.’

Sterling would also alter FASFA information in order to receive funds for himself.

The indictment alleges that out of the over 250 individuals that Sterling collected money from only 32 had high school diplomas or GED to qualify for those funds, according to the United States Department of Justice.

“Sterling issued a portion of the funds to the individuals and, without their knowledge, retained at large portion of the total refund for his own personal enrichment,” said in a press release by the United States Department of Justice.

During his fraud scheme, Sterling did not shy away as impersonating as a student in order to receive financial aid funds.

Sterling is also charged with one count of money laundering relating to a $256,000 withdrawal of fraud proceeds from his personal bank account for conversion into a bank check. 

Sterling pleaded not guilty on September 9.

This investigation is being handled by the FBI, Louisiana Office of Inspector General and the United States Department of Education.

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