The state’s leading prosecutor on Tuesday said that a woman from California who allegedly planned a student loan debt relief cheat has been arrested.
The said scam has deceived piles of borrowers out of over $6 million.
47-year-old Angela Kathryn Mirabella was suspected to operate an Orange County-based network of third-party call centers. Under this, sales agents were employed and tasked to reach out to individuals nationwide to offer a reduction or elimination of their student loan debt, according to California Attorney General Rob Bonta.
“These promises, they were lies,” the attorney general told a press conference.
The suspect was slammed by the grand jury with 87 counts including grand theft and fraud. She also faces serious white-collar crime and special allegations for money laundering.
Bonta said Mirabella is set to be arraigned on Wednesday.
Apart from her, a couple of sales agents and four call center managers under her operations are also indicted with accusations of stealing $6.13 million from more than 19, 000 victims nationwide.
“When borrowers became suspicious or unsure, these sales agents would allegedly apply the pressure creating fake deadlines and imply there was no other way to get student loan forgiveness,” Bonta said.
According to prosecutors, there were cases where individuals reveal their personal data which are being used by the agents to arrange unpermitted changes to the borrowers’ Federal Student Aid accounts.
It added that victims shell out honest fees and even gave more monthly payments that reached more than $1, 000 for services provided by federal loan servicers that are free of charge.
“Most victims believed these extra payments were being applied for their student loan debt. In reality, they were not,” the prosecutor said, SFGATE reported. “This led many of the victims to stop making their monthly payments on their actual student loans, which resulted in late payment notifications, increased loan balances and sometimes a complete student loan default.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, along with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General are handling the investigation of the case.