OAKLAND--Three men have pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to defraud the federal government out of more than $1 million by recruiting "straw students" at local colleges, including Ohlone, Chabot and City College of San Francisco, then submitting fraudulent financial aid applications on their behalf.
Hayward resident Kyle Edward Moore, San Lorenzo resident Marcel Devon Bridges and Arizona resident Cortio Detrice Wade pleaded guilty on Friday in United States District Court to conspiracy to commit financial aid fraud and wire fraud. The trio was arrested in September and face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Federal authorities said the three recruited third parties to serve as "straw students" and assisted them in preparing, signing, and transmitting fraudulent applications. According to prosecutors, the defendants knew that many of the people applying for aid were not eligible because they hadn't met certain criteria, such as having a high school diploma, and had no intention of attending school.
Moore, Wade, and Bridges were released on bonds and are scheduled to be sentenced later this year.
Contact Karina Ioffee at 650-576-9626. Follow her at Twitter.com/kioffee.