July 5, 2023

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced the sentencing of four individuals for their roles in perpetrating a student loan assistance scam and related computer crimes through their now-defunct company, Student Loan Relief Department. The defendants’ company masqueraded itself as a legitimate source of help and feigned association with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in order to gain the trust of distressed student loan borrowers and access their personal information. To execute the scam, the company’s employees were directed to access and disrupt student loan borrower account data, as well as create new student borrower accounts while posing as the borrowers, in violation of California’s computer crime laws.

“Too many Californians are already living paycheck to paycheck, wondering how they are going to pay off their student loans while also paying for rent, utilities, and other everyday expenses,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “The last thing they should have to worry about is predatory actors looking to turn a profit at their expense. Student Loan Relief Department’s scam operation was deliberate and damaging, but thanks to the efforts of our team and our federal partners, those involved are being held accountable.”

“These individuals knowingly and willfully preyed on student loan borrowers in a deliberate and methodical way and will now be held accountable for their criminal actions,” said Thomas Harper,…

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