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SOURCE Premier Education Group
MINEOLA, N.Y., Feb. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On February 20, 2014, The New York Times published an article, "Federal Lawsuit Accuses For-Profit School of Fraud," which appeared on the home page of its website and on the front page of the hard copy edition of the newspaper. The article reported on, among other things, a federal whistleblower lawsuit filed against Premier Education Group, L.P. ("Premier") by seven former employees from two campuses of one of its schools. The article, like the lawsuit upon which it is primarily based, is riddled with inaccuracies and mischaracterizations, according to Premier Education Group. Unlike the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, Premier has no intention of litigating lawsuits in the press and will continue to diligently defend itself in court against these frivolous claims.
Premier, however, must draw attention to an important fact inexplicably omitted from the article. As the article reports, the federal lawsuit was filed in mid-2011 but only unsealed last Fall. Throughout that time, a period spanning over two years, the federal Department of Education, Department of Justice and U.S. Attorneys' Office thoroughly investigated the claims and allegations. Premier fully cooperated with the investigation. After a full and complete investigation, the federal government decided the case was not worth its time and resources, declining to intervene and prosecute. The State New Jersey, the state that licenses the two campuses that employed the plaintiffs, also chose not to prosecute. The New York Times reporter was specifically advised of the federal and state investigations and of their decisions not to prosecute, but astoundingly chose not to report on this most salient fact.
With the states and federal government refusing to prosecute, the federal lawsuit is now in the hands of self-interested private plaintiffs who wish to enrich themselves with up to 30 percent of any award or settlement and their lawyers who could be entitled to recoupment of hefty attorneys' fees. These plaintiffs wish to second-guess the careful consideration, reviews, audits and approvals Premier's schools must satisfy. For example, Premier's schools have each satisfied an initial and continual federal and state requirements to become and continue to be eligible to receive Title IV and related state funds. Every Premier school and many programs within schools are also accredited by leading accrediting bodies recognized by the Department of Education as such. In sum, Premier's schools are highly regulated by an overlapping system of federal, state and accreditor oversight.
The New York Times also apparently found it less interesting to report on all the good Premier has done and continues to do for its students. For example, the article failed to report on Premier's state-of-the-art physical facilities. Most importantly, the article did not mention the thousands of students whose lives were improved by their education and training at Premier schools.
Premier has defended itself against plaintiffs' allegations and will continue to do so.
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