How Not to Fund an Education
Each year, millions of young individuals across the country face the question of whether or not to borrow funds to attend undergraduate or graduate institutions. Quite often, the question narrows: How much should one borrow?
There is no one size fits all answer to this question. As a result, one may seek advice regarding options. A competent adviser would be sure to tell a prospective student about, among other things, President Obama’s recent proposal to change some rules applicable to federal student loans. Then there’s incompetent and predatory advisers like Carla Ann Brennan.
The OC Weekly is reporting that Ms. Brennan was sentenced to seven years in prison last week.
Brennan was introduced to several students aged between 17 and 23 by her children. Brennan advised that she could assist these students with obtaining funding for their educations. She had them sign loan documents, and the lenders sent checks to the students for amounts ranging from $19,000 to $30,000. Brennan then met the students at a bank, where the students tendered the checks for cash. Brennan then told each student to keep $1,000 to $2,000, and she took the rest. The rest totaled $262,000.
Months later, the students received notices regarding repayment. Brennan said she was taking care of it. Instead, she was taking care of a tax liability she owed to the California Franchise Tax Board.
Eventually, the loans defaulted and a student contacted the the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Of course, Ms. Brennan failed to demonstrate any legal justification for her actions.
She pleaded guilty to five felony counts of grand theft, five felony counts of money laundering, two felony counts of identity theft, one felony count of filing a false tax return, and sentencing enhancements and allegations for aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, loss over $100,000, and crime-bail-crime. She’ll have plenty of time to think about her actions while behind bars.