A former Kaplan University dean has been indicted on federal charges that he hacked into the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based online school’s computer system to send threatening eMail messages to students and faculty, reports the Miami Herald. Ben Wilcox, an ex-law dean who is part of a whistle-blower lawsuit that accuses Kaplan of defrauding taxpayers of hundreds of millions of dollars in student financial aid, was indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Illinois on six felony counts of transmitting harassing and threatening messages. The grand jury says Wilcox used an unauthorized screen name and password to access Kaplan’s eMail system to send messages to students and faculty. One message falsely claimed that students’ Social Security numbers and other personal information had been compromised and would be used to "acquire credit and online gambling accounts in the students’ names," the indictment states. Wilcox left the university in 2006 after less than a year. He and two former department chairmen sued Kaplan in a whistle-blower suit that was unsealed last month. The suit accuses Kaplan of accepting unqualified students and pressuring faculty to grade leniently to keep students enrolled so it could continue receiving student financial aid each year; Kaplan has disputed the allegations. Beau B. Brindley, Wilcox’s criminal defense lawyer, said Kaplan is using the criminal charges against Wilcox in an attempt to "discredit" Wilcox in his civil suit against the school…
 

About the Author:

eSchool News