Millennium Post

Indian-origin man pleads guilty to defrauding US Dept of Veterans Affairs

New York: An Indian-origin owner of a local technical training school in San Diego pleaded guilty to defrauding the US Department of Veterans Affairs out of more than USD 29 million in eduction benefits meant for veterans.

Nimesh Shah, 36, owner of Blue Star Learning, pleaded guilty to defrauding the Department of Veterans Affairs out of more than USD 29 million in Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides veterans and other eligible individuals with assistance for education-related expenses such as tuition and housing.

The Department of Veterans Affairs pays tuition and fees directly to the school where the veteran is enrolled, and if the veteran is enrolled on more than a half-time basis, it additionally provides a monthly housing allowance directly to the veteran, as well as money for books, supplies, equipment and other expenses.

As a result of Shah's fraud, the Department issued over USD 11 million in tuition payments to his training centre and over USD 18 million in housing allowances and stipends.

Shah's wife, Nidhi Shah, 34 pleaded guilty at the same time to one count of False Statement, as a result of lies she told to agents at the time of her interview.

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