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Crime & Courts

Roselle couple charged with stealing $200,000 from COD in financial scheme

A Roselle couple has been charged with stealing more than $200,000 from the College of DuPage through a scheme involving financial aid fraud.

Cedric Ramey, 40, and Mary Allen, 37, both of the 800 block of Shawnee Trail, Roselle, appeared in bond court April 26, where bond was set at $1 million for Ramey and $500,000 for Allen. Neither Ramey nor Allen is affiliated with COD in any manner.

From February 2012 through May 2014, the couple allegedly recruited friends to provide personal information they used to apply for admission to COD and for loans and grants from the Department of Education, awarded through COD, according to a news release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.

The recruits allegedly would then withdraw from the courses, resulting in refunds of tuition balances returned to them either via check made payable to the recruit or electronic deposit into the recruit’s bank account, according to the release. It is alleged the recruits would then split the refund with Ramey and Allen, the release stated.

The couple’s alleged scheme began to unravel in 2013 when an individual reported she had received a tuition bill from COD but never attended the college, according to the release. An investigation led by the COD Police Department with assistance from the State’s Attorney’s Financial Crimes Unit led to Ramey and Allen.

In all, it is alleged the pair stole $205,580, the release stated.

“Not only did the alleged actions of Mr. Ramey and Ms. Allen cost the College of DuPage hundreds of thousands of dollars, their actions may have also hindered other students with a legitimate need in their search of financial aid,” DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in the release.

COD President Ann Rondeau said she was pleased criminal charges have been brought against the couple.

“While saddened that anyone would commit fraud against a publicly-funded institution, we are pleased that the State’s Attorney’s Office has proceeded with indicting these individuals,” Rondeau said in the release. "This has been an excellent team effort on the part of College of DuPage Police Department investigators and the State’s Attorney’s Office.”

On April 25, a DuPage County grand jury returned a 20-count indictment against both Ramey and Allen. The most serious charge against each defendant is felony theft over $100,000 from a school or place of worship.

Their next court appearance is scheduled for May 22.

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