Federal officials have indicted 10 people on mail fraud conspiracy charges in connection with an alleged conspiracy ring at a Piedmont Technical College campus.
According to the indictment, Fiasha Paul and Brittany Jennings, who were in charge of monitoring a placement test at the Abbeville campus of Piedmont Technical College, took the test or allowed others to take the test for people applying to the school.
"We have gone back and looked at our process and procedures. We're putting some additional procedures in place," Dr. Ray Brooks said. He's the president of Piedmont Technical College. "As a college president, as a representative of our college, we have to ensure that we're maintaining the integrity of the financial aid system."
The Compass placement test is used to determine if applicants are ready for college-level courses based on reading, writing and mathematics skills.
The scheme also involved Angela Thomas, who created fake high school diplomas for applicants, according to the indictment.
The indictment also named Jesse Hamilton, Tarshikia Pickens, Ricky Plumber, Brenda Pickens, Terry Johnson, Veronica Marshall and a defendant whose name was sealed, who tried to enter college to get financial aid checks without furthering their education.
Quetta Edwards is a student at the Abbeville campus. She said it's disappointing situation.
"There are some people who are trying really hard to go to school, but they don't really have the funds to go to school," she said. "The way the economy is, everybody's trying to find a way to get a dollar."
While the conspiracy was ongoing, Piedmont Technical College issued more than $50,000 in checks connected and benefiting the conspiracy, according to the indictment.
Brooks said there are more than 8,000 students at the college and unfortunately a small group of people tried to take advantage of a program that benefits many.
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