Columbia, South Carolina - United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Nina Latrele McGill, age 26, of Lake City, South Carolina, pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Florence, South Carolina, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and education loan fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence, South Carolina, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that McGill made an agreement with other co-defendants to enroll at an online school to make it appear she would be attending classes. A financial application was submitted on June 2, 2010, by McGill, or on her behalf. In the application, McGill falsely stated she had a high school diploma or GED and that she would be attending classes. Federal Financial Aid was awarded to McGill and sent to the school, with the excess funds being sent to McGill. McGill provided her personal information to a co-defendant to be enrolled in school with the purpose of receiving the money. McGill agreed to and did split the money with a co-defendant. The loss amount attributed to McGill is approximately $7,000.00. The loss for the conspiracy as a whole is approximately $75,000.
Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty McGill can receive is a fine of $250,000.00 and/or imprisonment for 5 years, plus a special assessment of $100.00.
The case was investigated by agents of the Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, and agents of the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Bill Day of the Florence office handled the case.