Santa Ana-based Corinthian Colleges, which has previously been stung by a whistleblower, an investment manager and the Securities and Exchange Commission, now finds itself in the cross-hairs of the California Attorney General.
AG Kamala Harris sued the for-profit educators Thursday for allegedly engaging in false and predatory advertising and its executives of having "misrepresented" to investors and accrediting agencies the rate at which students found jobs.
"The predatory scheme devised by executives at Corinthian Colleges Inc. is unconscionable," Harris said via City News Service. "Designed to rake in profits and mislead investors, they targeted some of our state's most particularly vulnerable people-- including low income, single mothers and veterans returning from combat."
Corinthian representatives could not be reached for comment.
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Harris claims to have internal Corinthian documents, obtained by the Department of Justice, that showed the company sought students who are "isolated," "impatient" and with "low self-esteem," who have "few people in their lives who care about them," and who feel "stuck" and "unable to see and plan well for future."
Corinthian, whose colleges include Everest, Heald and WyoTech, advertised 100 percent job placement rates for some programs, while internal audits showed rates of between 53 percent and 70 percent, the lawsuit alleges.
Military seals were used without authorization in mailings, a violation of state law, according to the complaint.