ST. LOUIS (AP) __ A former South Carolina inmate has pleaded
guilty to federal fraud charges for posing as online students at
Webster University and collecting thousands of dollars of financial
The U.S. attorney’s office in St. Louis said Wednesday that
Michelle Owens submitted fraudulent admission applications to the
suburban St. Louis-based university in the names of 23 people who
were inmates at Leath Correctional Institution in South Carolina.
Prosecutors say Owens sought about $467,000 in student loans, using
nearly $125,000 of that for personal expenses.
The federal attorney’s office says Owens pleaded guilty Monday
in Florence, S.C., to one count each of mail fraud and federal
student financial aid fraud. Prosecutors say she gained access to
inmates’ personal information while she was a prisoner there from
December 2007 to September 2008.
The Associated Press.