A federal judge has denied Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's attempt to join a lawsuit against Education Management Corp., the parent company of for-profit Brown Mackie College.
In August, Conway asked to join a pending whistle-blower suit against Education Management in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania. A former college admissions employee, the U.S. Justice Department, 11 states and the District of Columbia are suing the company, alleging it defrauded government tuition-assistance programs by illegally paying recruiters based on the number of students they enrolled.
But Judge Terrence McVerry ruled Monday that Conway could not join because Kentucky does not have a False Claims Act, the statute under which the other governments are suing. Conway's attempt to use Kentucky's consumer-protection law on behalf of the state is insufficient, McVerry wrote.
"This case already is over 4 years old, and the addition of 'consumer protection' claims would cause further delay and prejudice to the existing parties," McVerry wrote.
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Conway's office did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday. Conway is investigating several for-profit colleges in Kentucky and has taken legal action against two others.