A for-profit college chain intentionally deceived prospective students and investors about the value of its degrees and sought out the socially isolated and disadvantaged, according to a lawsuit California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed Thursday.
According to the complaint, Corinthian Colleges Inc. boasted of unrealistically high job placement rates -- as high as 100 percent in some cases -- while discussing in internal documents how to recruit low-income and disillusioned students who are "impatient," have "low self-esteem" or can claim "few people in their lives who care about them."
Part of that strategy entailed "aggressive and persistent internet and telemarketing campaigns" and placing spots on daytime television shows.
Corinthian Colleges Inc. tried to lure students with connections to the military by using the seals of various branches of the armed forces without government approval, according to the attorney general's office.
Originally organized under Delaware state law and based in Santa Ana, Corinthian Colleges Inc. manages more than 20 campuses around the United States. That includes Heald College locations in Fresno, Modesto, Rancho Cordova, Roseville and Stockton and a WyoTech campus in Fremont.