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2 Sentenced In $680,000 Student Loan Fraud Case

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File photo of two students (Photo credit: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/GettyImages)

File photo of two students (Photo credit: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/GettyImages)

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A Walterboro woman has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for being the mastermind of a scheme that took $680,000 in student loans.

Federal prosecutors said 48-year-old Lena Gant got about a dozen friends, family members and co-workers to apply for online college classes and get financial aid with no intention of taking the courses. She was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Authorities say the people filing the false applications got a small cut of the money.

Federal prosecutors said a second ringleader, 28-year-old Marquita Fishburne of Walterboro, was sentenced to five years of probation.

Several people involved in the scheme worked for the Allendale Correctional Institution.

Gant and Fishburne pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and student aid financial fraud.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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