Ohio woman sent to prison for college loan scheme


AKRON (AP) — An Ohio woman has been sentenced to nearly seven years in federal prison for her role in what authorities say was a $1.8 million college financial aid scheme that involved enrolling inmates and people whose identities had been stolen at an Arizona community college.

Fifty-four-year-old Janice Shufford, of Akron, was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution during sentencing Tuesday. A jury convicted her earlier this year of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and wire fraud.

Two other women, 48-year-old Bridgid Sommerville and 39-year-old Christine Robinson, previously pleaded guilty to related charges.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland says the three women enrolled people without high school degrees or GEDs at Maricopa Community College between 2011 and 2015.

Shufford’s attorney declined to comment Tuesday.

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