College accused of misleading students must pay sanctions for stalling

A for-profit trade school will have to pay $147,000 in sanctions after exhausting its court appeals in a case against the Kentucky attorney general’s office.

The attorney general’s office has accused National College, which is now known as American National University of Kentucky, of violating the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act by advertising misleading information about the job success of its graduates.

In 2010, during an investigation, National College refused to comply with a subpoena from the AG’s office and filed suit in Franklin Circuit Court as a delay tactic, the attorney general said. The court ruled that the subpoena was authorized, but the college did not fully comply with the subpoena until Feb. 11, 2014.

The court assessed monetary sanctions of $147,000 against the college because of that. National College had appealed the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and on Oct. 10, the court declined to review the case, meaning the lower court’s decision stands.

“The ruling by the nation’s highest court is a win for every Kentucky student who has been misled by a for-profit school who cares more about profits than offering a quality education,” Beshear said in a news release. “My office will continue to fight for all Kentuckians as consumers but more importantly as students who want to better themselves and their families. This ruling sends a strong message that companies refusing to cooperate with consumer protection investigations will be held accountable when they engage in meritless delay tactics.”

A lawsuit filed by the attorney general’s office in Fayette Circuit Court over the alleged violations of the consumer protection act is scheduled to go to trial in January.