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Uneducated Decision: County Probation Officer Arrested for Bilking Federal Financial Aid System

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A Rialto woman who works as a Los Angeles County probation officer was arrested at her San Dimas workplace by feds and hauled in on charges she "bilked the federal financial aid system by using two identities to fraudulently obtain financial assistance," says the Department of Justice.43-year-old Angenette Thomas is accused of getting her hands on numerous student loans to help her out at a variety of local colleges, including Platt College; University of La Verne; California State University, Fullerton; California State University, San Bernardino; and National University in La Jolla. When those loans weren't enough to satisfy her desire for learning getting loans for not learning, she defaulted on them, and went ahead and signed up for more, claiming on her paperwork that she was not in default.

Thomas was turned down for aid, and an investigation revealed she was not only in default, but had used a second name and social security number to again apply for federal student aid; her application claimed she had never attended college and earned no income in 2008, which resulted in her being awarded the aid.

Of the $135,000 Thomas received in aid, at least $18,000 was obtained fraudulently.

The case against Thomas is explained in a criminal complaint filed last month in United States District Court. She was slated to be arraigned in Riverside today. If convicted on the charges of wire fraud, she would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison; luckily inmates can often get their education there for free, with plenty of time for studying.