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Home / Special Sections / Attorneys of the Year / 2019 Attorneys of the Year: Minnesota Attorney General’s Office prosecution of Minnesota School of Business/Globe University for fraud
Bottom row: Keala Ede, Kirsi Poupore, Al Gilbert, Kathryn Iverson Landrum. Top row: Adam Welle, Thomas Madison, Jason Pleggenkuhle
Bottom row: Keala Ede, Kirsi Poupore, Al Gilbert, Kathryn Iverson Landrum. Top row: Adam Welle, Thomas Madison, Jason Pleggenkuhle

2019 Attorneys of the Year: Minnesota Attorney General’s Office prosecution of Minnesota School of Business/Globe University for fraud

The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office prosecution of Minnesota School of Business/Globe University for fraud was a multifaceted case that the prosecutors involved knew would not be simple to tackle.

“We expected it to go on a long time,” said Al Gilbert, the former solicitor general who led a team of 11 lawyers and para­legals in the case.

It was one of the few fraud cases against a for-profit college chain to go to trial. Following an investigation by the AG’s office, the state sued, saying that MSB and Globe falsely mar­keted a criminal justice program to 1,300 students as a way to become a Minnesota police or probation officer, when in fact the schools’ program did not qualify graduates for those pro­fessions.

During a 17-day trial, the court found in the state’s favor, saying that it showed the pervasiveness of the schools’ false and deceptive practices.

“The AG met with complainants and developed a case,” said Gilbert. “We thought the students were not treated right and were entitled to substantial relief.”

During litigation it also came to light that the schools made 18% interest loans to students when they ran out of financial aid. The state amended its lawsuit to include violations of usury and lender-licensing laws. The loans were held to be illegal and $3.5 million in refunds of interest payments were ordered. The court also said that the state could seek refunds for payments toward principal, along with prejudgment interest and penal­ties.

It was a very important case with a lot of moving parts,” said Gilbert. “We had a great team of lawyers and paralegals. I was confident we could get the job done.”

Read more about Minnesota Lawyer’s superb class of Attorneys of the Year for 2019 here.

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