GREENBELT, Md. (DC News Now) — The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that a former university financial advisor was sentenced to four years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud – a scheme to obtain more than $5 million in student loans.

From about 2006 to 2021, Randolph Stanley, 44, of Lexington Park, Md., was the ringleader of a scheme to defraud the U.S. Department of Education. He was employed at a university in Adelphi, Md.

Stanley and his co-conspirators recruited over 60 “student participants” to apply for and enroll in postgraduate programs at more than eight academic institutions.

Many of the student participants were not qualified for the programs they applied for.

The group told the student participants that they would assist with coursework – including completing assignments and participating in online classes – in exchange for a fee. As a result, the student participants received credit and, in many cases, degrees without doing the required work.

Stanley admitted he and his co-conspirators directed them to also apply for federal student loans. student participants and Stanley were awarded tuition – at least 60 of them received loan refunds.

Stanley kept a portion of each of the students’ loan refunds.

After serving his sentence, Stanley will have to spend three years in supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution of at least $5,648,238, the outstanding balance on all federal student loans he obtained during his scheme.