The California Attorney General's office has won a $1.17 billion judgment against defunct foer-profit Corinthian Colleges, Inc. for their predatory and unlawful practices.
The judgment is the result of lawsuits that sought to stop Corinthian's allegedly abusive practices that left tens of thousands of students with large debts and useless degrees.
Corinthian, which operated Everest, Heald and Wyotech colleges in California, shut down all its campuses and filed for bankruptcy in 2015. The bankruptcy may make it unlikely that Corinthian would have the resources to pay the entire judgment, but the judgment may help affected students secure further relief.
“For years, Corinthian profited off the backs of poor people – now they have to pay," says California Attorney General Kamala Harris. "This judgment sends a clear message: there is a cost to this kind of predatory conduct,” said Attorney General Harris. “My office will continue to do everything in our power to help these vulnerable students obtain all available relief."
The attorney general's 2013 lawsuit alleged that Corinthian "intentionally targeted low-income, vulnerable Californians through deceptive and false advertisements and aggressive marketing campaigns that misrepresented job placement rates and school programs."
San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow ordered Corinthian to pay $820 million in restitution and $350 million in civil penalties.
The judgment concluded that Corinthian made untrue or misleading representations about job placement rates for students; routinely ran ads saying that it offered several technician programs in California, but did not actually offer the programs; engaged in unlawful debt collection; and misrepresented its financial stability to students.