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California college aid scam defendant pleads guilty

Posted: April 18, 2013 12:30 p.m.
Updated: April 18, 2013 12:30 p.m.

SAN PABLO, Calif. (AP) — Court records show campus administrators were suspicious of the alleged ringleader of a college aid scam at Contra Costa College months before police launched an investigation.

The Contra Costa Times reported on Wednesday that the head of the college's financial aid department contacted federal education officials about 45-year-old Yvette Hummel in mid-2011.

Prosecutors say Hummel enrolled "straw students" at the college who never attended class, but received financial aid. She allegedly took a 25 percent cut of their financial aid checks. She was accused of bilking the college out of $109,000 and has pleaded guilty in the case.

Her 54-year-old boyfriend, David Murphy, has also taken a plea deal. More than a dozen other people face charges.

Some of the straw students received grades in a drama class they never attended. The class's instructors were cleared of any wrongdoing.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.



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