Student Loans

5 From South Bay Charged in Student Loan Scam

The accused are from Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Lawndale.

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What to Know

  • The criminal complaint alleges that the defendants illegally created and accessed account records in the U.S. Department of Education's computer systems without authorization and bilked student borrowers out of funds.
  • The five are also accused of lying about their now-defunct company, Student Loan Relief Department.
  • The California Attorney General urged student loan borrowers to safeguard their online student loan records and to notify our office if they are approached by anyone looking to access that account information.

Five South Bay residents face criminal charges for their alleged roles in a student loan assistance scam, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Wednesday.

The criminal complaint alleges that the defendants illegally created and accessed account records in the U.S. Department of Education's computer systems without authorization and bilked student borrowers out of funds.

The five are also accused of lying about their now-defunct company, Student Loan Relief Department, and lying to investors about its alleged business model while illegally accepting investments, according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The defendants are:

  • Bradley Kyle Hansen of Redondo Beach, who is charged with grand theft, the purchase or sale of unlawful securities, unauthorized computer access, and altering computer information.
  • Christopher Edward Lyell of Redondo Beach, charged with grand theft, the purchase or sale of unlawful securities, unauthorized computer access, and altering computer information
  • Hoke Masami Nagahori of Manhattan Beach, charged with grand theft and the purchase or sale of unlawful securities
  • Kevin Howard Rathburn of Lawndale, who is charged with unauthorized computer access and altering computer information
  • Paul Michael Rehmar of Redondo Beach, who faces grand theft charges.
A billionaire technology investor and philanthropist says he will provide grants to wipe out the student debt of the entire graduating class at Morehouse College — an estimated 40 million U.S. dollars. Robert F. Smith made the announcement to nearly 400 graduating seniors at the historically black, all-male college in Atlanta.

Our country is in the middle of a student loan debt crisis with more than $1.7 trillion owed in outstanding federal student loans. The last thing consumers should have to worry about are criminals looking to make a quick buck off of student borrowers.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra

"Our country is in the middle of a student loan debt crisis with more than $1.7 trillion owed in outstanding federal student loans,'' Becerra said. "The last thing consumers should have to worry about are criminals looking to make a quick buck off of student borrowers. I urge student loan borrowers to safeguard their online student loan records and to notify our office if they are approached by anyone looking to access that account information.''

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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