WASHINGTON (AP) — Former federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has agreed to serve as an independent monitor of a troubled for-profit education company serving 72,000 students that has agreed to sell or close its campuses, the Education Department said Friday.
Fitzgerald prosecuted high-profile cases against Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
As part of an agreement with the Education Department, Corinthian Colleges, based in Santa Ana, California, has said it will close a dozen U.S. campuses in 11 states and place 85 up for sale. The company owns Everest College, Heald College and WyoTech schools. About a dozen others in Canada will also be sold.
The company also agreed that an independent monitor would examine its compliance, including making sure that plans are followed that allow students to complete their programs. Some students are eligible for full refunds, and the company has said it would work with the monitor to establish a reserve fund of at least $30 million to pay those funds.
The company, which receives about $1.4 billion annually in federal student aid, continues to face multiple state and federal investigations.
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