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Akron woman sentenced for defrauding Dept. of Education by enrolling prison inmates in school

Posted at 3:52 PM, Nov 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-06 15:52:39-05

An Akron woman was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison for defrauding the U.S. Department of Education out of $1.8 million through a scheme where she and others enrolled prison inmates and people whose identities they stole in an Arizona community college in order to gain financial aid. 

Janie Shufford, 54, was sentenced to 81 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution. 

A jury convicted her of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and wire fraud following a trial. 

Bridgid Sommerville, 48, and Christine Robinson, 39, previously pleaded guilty to related charges. 

“These defendants lied on applications or used stolen identities to steal money that otherwise would have gone to deserving students,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Our office will continue to prosecute those who defraud the federal government.”

Shufford, Sommerville, and Robinson fraudulently enrolled hundreds of people at Maricopa Community College in Arizona between 2011 and 2015, according to the indictment.