Scammers Rashed and Nagui Elyas, owners of the Marinello Schools of Beauty ripped off locals and taxpayers for years by doing a fake beauty school that did nothing for students while taking over $50 million in financial aid from the government. The Department of Justice shut down the scam last year and just recently settled with their insurance career to pay back some of the payments from tax payers.
Even worse, the students wasted time in this fake school claiming that they would receive good jobs after graduating. Since little or no training was actually done, the students found that they weren’t qualified for anything in the beauty industry except perhaps cashier, and maybe not even that.
Complaints against the beauty school started almost as soon as they started, but really racked up with calls to both local police and federal investigators in 2013 when the Department of Justice started looking into the case.
The school was completely involved in “big volume” aggressive sales to potential students, but not caring actually if they were qualified or wanted to be in the program. They even used offered fake high-school diplomas for those who were not qualified for loans, giving some students fake G.E.D.-like papers in a few days.
HuffPost exposed the scam in February:
A Department probe found that Marinello was creating fake high school diplomas for students to make them eligible for federal aid. Marinello partnered with Parkridge Private School in Long Beach, California, which supposedly was giving students their high school educations while attending Marinello. In fact, the Parkridge requirements were almost nonexistent, and students had no contact with Parkridge instructors. Marinello administered the supposed Parkridge exams and allegedly helped the students cheat or coached them until they passed. Worse, according to the Department, some students were told their Parkridge diplomas would be invalidated if they withdrew from Marinello — as if to confirm how bogus these “degrees” actually were.
Faking high school degrees to get student aid money was what last year got Alejandro Amor, owner of Miami’s FastTrain college, convicted by a jury of federal theft and conspiracy charges.
The Department of Education also found that Marinello forced students to pay some of their tuition out of pocket, when they were entitled to financial aid to cover those costs.