The lawyer appointed to monitor the compliance of big for-profit college company EDMC with a 2015 settlement of consumer fraud charges pursued by 39 state attorneys general found a series of abuses by the operation after it had been taken over by a new non-profit, Dream Center Education Holdings.
In his third annual report, covering the period October 1, 2017, to September 30, 2018, the monitor, Thomas J. Perrelli, of the giant corporate law firm Jenner
— failed to provide students with required disclosures about debt levels and other matters, as required by the federal gainful employment rule;
— sought to use the non-profit Dream Center operation to benefit for-profit Woz U, a coding camp in which DCEH CEO Brent Richardson had a stake and an operational role; and
— improperly intimidated holdover compliance staff from the former EDMC headquarters in Pittsburgh, punctuated by an angry rant from Richardson in which he told a meeting that Pittsburgh was the place where things went to die.
All of these matters were first disclosed by Republic Report in articles published last May, the start of eight months of new revelations we have provided about DCEH’s meltdown, the troubling involvement of the Betsy DeVos Department of Education, and the harsh impact on students, faculty, and staff. Our work has been made possible by courageous and principled DCEH employees who reached out to me.
Perrelli found improvements in DCEH legal compliance in the months leading up to his report, but by then DCEH had announced the closure of many of its campuses. More recently, in just the past few weeks, DCEH has filed for receivership, announced the shuttering of more campuses, and agreed to sell other campuses to another non-profit that Republic Report soon revealed to have its own troubling conflicts of interest. Also, Brent Richardson resigned as DCEH’s CEO.