Column after column of students were listed on TWC forms as "employed" at the oddly-named firm Alexus Dutchess — 176 in all, as shown in records News 8 eventually obtained from sources. Alexus Dutchess turns out to be a paper company, used by Everest's former career services director Irma Spears. The company was created by Katherine "Dutchess" Henderson, a friend of hers. Paramount Multi-services is shown as employing 112 former Everest students. That company did exist, but it never provided 112 jobs to students, as records show. All of this would have remained secret if News 8 had not confronted Corinthian about it. The TWC wasn't telling anybody. In an interview with News 8, when asked about Alexus Dutchess, TWC spokeswoman Ann Hatchitt said, "This is really wonderful information for us to use, for us to look into Everest." TWC refused to let any of its career school administrators be interviewed; only Ms. Hatchitt was made available. Teri Evans, a former admissions director at Everest, said she complained about records falsification to the TWC in June — after she quit her job. "I have gotten no response (from the TWC)," she said. "Not even a a 'thank you for your information.'" When News 8 discovered the existence of Alexus Dutchess and Paramount Multi-Services, Corinthian released a letter it wrote to the TWC dated August 6, outlining its discovery of falsified records on its Arlington campus. The company describes the doctored records as the work of three "rogue" employees. An affidavit signed by "Irma Spears" said she committed the falsifications of her own accord. It is clear, however, that the longevity of a career services director would be closely linked to how many students were placed in jobs. The falsifications began in 2007, despite the formation of an audit unit at Corinthian that was supposed to detect anomalies in records. Paramount Multi-Services, unlike Alexus Dutchess, did exist. But it employed only seven Everest students instead of 112. Also, rather than being a mail-order pharmacy, as Corinthian described the business, the company's founder said Paramount was a phone bank that lost its business to the Phillipines. Since obtaining jobs for students is so critical, Corinthian offered to update its job placement numbers, which it is supposed to release to prospective students — numbers now significantly reduced because of the falsifications. Instead of a placement rate of about 70 percent among among medical assistant, medical coding and billing and pharmacy technicians, the school now has a 40 percent placement rate for the most recent year available. To its credit, Cornithian wanted to change its records to reflect that. Surprisingly, the Texas Workforce Commission wouldn't let them. Instead, the TWC uses the old, higher placement percentages. When students are recruited, Corinthian says, they are quoted lower job placement numbers adopted by Everest's accrediting body. In a written statement released to News 8, Corinthian apologizes to its former students, who were "systematically deceived." It says they can come back for refresher courses, and that it will continue to offer job placement services. Corinthian urges former students to contact the school immediately. Corinthian says it has now added "additional steps" to the job verification process.
Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:53pm EDT * Probe into possible unfair, deceptive practices - filing
* Apollo says evaluating notice and subpoena
Oct 22 (Reuters) - Apollo Group Inc (APOL.O) said Florida has started an investigation into possible unfair and deceptive practices at its University of Phoenix, the largest for-profit college in the United States.
The notice from the Florida attorney general includes a subpoena to produce documents and information about the university's business from Jan. 1, 2006, to the present, Apollo said in a regulatory filing.
The company is evaluating the notice and subpoena, it said in the filing.
Apollo and peers have come under fire from regulators and the Obama administration for saddling students with big debts and not fully preparing them for jobs.
The result is that no eyes — except those of the TWC — ever examine the outcomes of thousands of students at Texas for-profit schools. It's clear the TWC is not looking, based on records News 8 has obtained. Column after column of students were listed on TWC forms as "employed" at the oddly-named firm Alexus Dutchess — 176 in all, as shown in records News 8 eventually obtained from sources. Alexus Dutchess turns out to be a paper company, used by Everest's former career services director Irma Spears. The company was created by Katherine "Dutchess" Henderson, a friend of hers.