Glendale Heights woman and sister plead guilty to student loan fraud scheme
A Glendale Heights woman and her sister pleaded guilty Tuesday in DuPage County to stealing students' identities and using them to acquire more than $300,000 in student aid from the U.S. Department of Education, according to a news release from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Olympia Blue, 34 of Glendale Heights and her sister Dasia Blue, 30, of Monee, were sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $319,000 in restitution. Authorities say they used the money they got from the federal government to buy personal items including an $800 pair of Jimmy Choo shoes.
The sisters, along with Lorin Brown, 37, of Monee and Jessie Wright, 28, of Glendale Heights, took out the student loans between January 2012 and February 2013 under the guise of attending classes at the College of DuPage and the University of Phoenix, according to authorities, but never attended classes.
"The defendants stole personal information from dozens of victims to fraudulently obtain funds for personal profit," Madigan said. "This case demonstrates the importance of carefully monitoring your personal information to avoid falling victim to identity theft."
Loans were issued to the four in the form of checks and debit cards from U.S. Bank and Chase Bank and ranged from $7,000 to $13,000, the attorney general's release says. Records containing the stolen identities of more than 50 people were found in Dasia Blue and Brown's home after a search warrant was executed in February 2013, according to the release.
Brown was found guilty of fraud in 2014 and sentenced to nine years in jail, the release states, and Wright had previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison.