Danville man sentenced to 61 months in prison for student loan fraud
A Danville man, who obtained the identities of individuals in the Danville and Martinsville regions in order to apply for fraudulent student loans in their names to steal money from lenders, was sentenced Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Danville for multiple federal charges, according to U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Western District of Virginia, James Willie Waller Jr., 29, was sentenced Tuesday to 61 months in prison and ordered to pay $117,000 in restitution. Waller previously pleaded guilty to one count of student loan fraud, one count of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to the release, the evidence presented at previous hearings determined that Waller devised a scheme in which he obtained the personally identifying information of individuals in the Danville and Martinsville area. Waller used the identities to apply for student loans to online colleges and universities without the consent of those who information he obtained.
Waller fraudulently applied for student financial aid and enrolled in online courses using the identities he procured. According to the release, the U.S. Department of Education then sent grant and loan monies to the online schools to cover tuition and living expenses.
The schools, in turn, caused debit cards to be issued in the names of fictitious students. The cards were directed to a variety of mailing addresses throughout Danville and Martinsville, as orchestrated by Waller. Waller then used the debit cards for personal use.
In all, Waller received more than $117,000 in money to which he was not entitled, according to the release.