The Police NewsTyler
Longview Man Found Guilty of Student Financial Aid Fraud During Federal Trial
TYLER, Texas – A 30-year-old Longview, Texas man has been convicted of federal violations for his role in a student financial aid fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.
Robert Brisco was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 19, 2017, and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, four counts of mail fraud, and 16 counts of student financial aid fraud and aiding and abetting. Brisco was found guilty today by a jury on all counts. At sentencing, Brisco faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the conspiracy and for each mail fraud charge and 5 years in federal prison for each student financial aid fraud charge.
According to information presented in court, from June 2013 to September 2015, Brisco and others conspired to use wire communications and the mail to fraudulently obtain student financial aid funds through the Pell Grant Program and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.
Under federal statutes, Brisco faces up to 20 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
Brisco's mother, Gracie Brisco, 54, and his sister, Shanitra Frost Brisco, 34, both of Longview, pleaded guilty in July 2017, to student financial aid fraud and each face up to five years in federal prison at sentencing. Six other individuals have been charged in connection with the student aid fraud scheme. All have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
“Student financial aid fraud deprives deserving students of funds essential to their education,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “We are committed to prosecuting these crimes and appreciate our federal agents who work so tirelessly to ensure our economy is not crippled by these fraudulent activities.”
“OIG Special Agents aggressively pursue those who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers,” said Neil Sanchez, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General’s Southern Region. "I'm proud of the work of OIG Special Agents and our law enforcement partners for holding Brisco accountable and for protecting the integrity of Federal education dollars."
“This case represents the successful collaboration between the Secret Service, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Education, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas,” said Special Agent in Charge William Noonan, U.S. Secret Service. “The Secret Service is committed to working with its federal partners in investigating these complex financial crimes.”
“The successful conviction in this case should serve as a lesson to all who would want to defraud the government of vital education funds,” said Thomas L. Noyes, Inspector in Charge, Fort Worth Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “I appreciate the U.S. Attorneys, Secret Service Agents, Agents from the Department of Education Office of Inspector General, and the Postal Inspectors whose hard work and diligence resulted in the guilty verdict.”
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education - Office of Inspector General, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Longview Police Department, and the Kilgore College Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld and L. Frank Coan are prosecuting this case.
Public Information Officer/Law Enforcement Coordinator
U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Texas