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Employee of California Trucking School Sentenced for Wire Fraud in Connection with Scheme to Fraudulently Obtain Government Benefits for Veterans


On December 14, 2020, an employee of Alliance School of Trucking (AST) in Los Angeles County, California, was sentenced to six months of imprisonment followed by thirty-six months of supervised release, with the condition that he perform 900 hours of community service, and ordered to pay $4,198,608 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for four counts of wire fraud.  Aaron Solomona was sentenced in the Central District of California.  According to the factual statement in support of the guilty plea, from in or about July 2011 through in or about April 2015, Solomona, together with the Director of AST and others, knowingly and with intent to defraud, devised, participated in, and executed a scheme to defraud the VA and obtain money from the VA by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and the concealment of material facts.  Specifically, Solomona and co-conspirators recruited eligible veterans to defraud the VA of Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits through their truck driving school by telling veterans that they could collect housing and other fees from the VA without attending the programs.  According to the factual statement, from in or about December 2011 through in or about April 2015, Solomona and co-conspirators defrauded the VA of approximately $4.3 million in tuition, fee payments, and education benefits for veterans by creating fraudulent student files, creating false attendance records and grades, creating fraudulent certificates of completion, and instructing others to tell AST-enrolled veterans to lie about their attendance.  Also, according to the factual statement, on four separate dates in 2013 and 2014, Solomona, along with others, caused four items to be transmitted by wire communication in interstate commerce, in connection with the fraudulent scheme described above.  The investigation is being conducted by the OIG’s Los Angeles Field Office, the VA OIG, and the FBI.

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