The United States has reached a landmark global settlement with Education Management Corp. (EDMC), the second-largest for-profit education company in the country, the Department of Justice announced today. The $95.5 million settlement resolves allegations that EDMC violated federal and state False Claims Act (FCA) provisions by falsely certifying that it was in compliance with Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and parallel state statutes.
The primary allegation was that EDMC unlawfully recruited students, in contravention of the HEA’s Incentive Compensation Ban (ICB), by running a high pressure boiler room where admissions personnel were paid based purely on the number of students they enrolled. In addition to resolving these and other FCA claims, the global settlement also encompasses an investigation by a consortium of state Attorneys General, of consumer-fraud allegations involving deceptive and misleading recruiting practices.
EDMC operates the Art Institutes, South University, Argosy University and Brown-Mackie College.