RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Reynolds Community College’s former financial aid director was sentenced to more than five years in prison in connection to an eight-year scheme she orchestrated in which she defrauded Virginia and the U.S. Department of Education of nearly $380,000 in student financial aid funds.
According to the Department of Justice, 48-year-old Kiesha Pope was the Director of Financial Aid at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (“Reynolds”), from 2006 through 2017. From 2011 through 2017, court documents state that Pope used her financial aid office access to manufacture or boost financial aid eligibility for individuals, often her family members, who were not in fact eligible for financial aid. Pope then directed at least four of those co-conspirators to send her the majority of the illegally obtained money.
In total, Pope and her co-conspirators were able to collect $246,450 in federal financial aid and $133,152 in state financial aid. Pope used the funds for car repairs, a cruise, shopping and expenses for her young daughter.
Pope, who was charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, will have to give $230,850 in restitution. According to the plea agreement, Pope will have to give $150,628 to the U.S. Department of Education, $62,240 to Virginia and $17,982 to Reynolds Community College.
Pope was sentenced to 63 months in prison for the crime. Click here for a full write-up of the indictment crimes and charges.