State of Illinois sues for-profit colleges, alleges deception

CHICAGO (STMW) - The state of Illinois filed a lawsuit Wednesday against multiple for-profit colleges, alleging deceptive and unfair conduct under the Consumer Fraud Act.

The for-profit colleges named in the lawsuit are:

Education Management Corporation
Argosy University of California LLC
South University LLC
Brown Mackie Education LLC
The Art Institutes International LLC
Argosy Education Group INC
The Illinois Institute of Art – Tinley Park LLC
The Illinois Institute of Art at Schaumburg INC
Illinois Institute of Art INC
The Art of Institute of Pittsburg LLC
According to the lawsuit, Education Management Company (EMC), which owns the other named colleges, misled prospective students about the cost of the program.

EMC used high-pressure tactics to push prospective students to enroll, misled prospective students about program costs and falsely claimed students would earn higher incomes after graduation, the lawsuit stated.

They falsely claimed some of their programs were accredited and inaccurately claimed they were attempting to have some programs accredited, the suit stated.

They also engaged in multiple deceptive and unfair practices in calculating disclosed job placement rates and charged students for classes after they withdrew from school, the lawsuit said.

The state of Illinois is seeking an injunction against EMC that will suspend their licenses to operate in Illinois, fine them $50,000 per violation, force them to pay all attorney and state fees and return all money to affected students, the lawsuit said.

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