Senate Dems call for DOJ probe of Corinthian College

Senate Dems call for DOJ probe of Corinthian College
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats are calling on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate Corinthian College, the for-profit college accused of luring students into expensive loans with bogus job prospects.

Last week, the school closed 28 campuses, leaving 1,600 students in the lurch, and on Monday formally filed for bankruptcy. The collapse comes after Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and at least 20 state attorney generals including California and Illinois sued the school for making false and misleading advertisements to entice students to enroll and take out pricey loans to cover the cost. According to CFPB, the school charged students more than $75,000 in tuition and fees for a bachelor’s degree.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Education have also launched their own investigations. 

Lawmakers, however, sent a letter to Lynch on Wednesday after Education Department Undersecretary Ted Mitchell told the LA Times in an interview last month the agency’s tools for holding executives responsible individually are limited. 

Now Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDurbin calls Mueller report findings on Trump team 'troubling' Congress opens door to fraught immigration talks McConnell: 'Past time' for immigration-border security deal MORE (D-Ill.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Minorities, older adults push Biden to top of 2020 poll The difference between good and bad tax reform MORE (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis Reed Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Senators show deep skepticism on Space Force proposal Barr says 'spying' took place on Trump campaign MORE (D-R.I.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyThe Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? DHS plan for face scanning at airports sparks alarm Amazon hiring alcohol lobbyist MORE (D-Mass.), Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates More than 30 Senate Dems ask Trump to reconsider Central American aid cuts Long-shot goal of nixing Electoral College picks up steam MORE (D-Conn.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenWinners and losers from first fundraising quarter Election analyst says Gillibrand doesn't have 'horsepower to go the full distance' Gillibrand campaign links low fundraising to Al Franken backlash: memo MORE (D-Minn.) want Lynch to determine whether Corinthian College and its executives have violated any civil or criminal laws.

"Corinthian’s collapse over the past year has come at the cost of hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars and at the expense of thousands of students who were enticed to enroll in - and to incur massive debt for - failing school programs," they wrote. 

While students were left swimming in debt, the senators said Corinthian executives enriched themselves, citing the CEO's $3 million annual salary.

“While we recognize that investigations by certain Justice Department components may not be disclosed publicly, we seek your confirmation that the department is fully aware of the Corinthian situation and is responding diligently,” the senators said in the letter.