50-50 Split

Splitting things “50-50” refers to fairness. Each person gets or takes responsibility for an equal share. For example, spouses can divide household chores – one partner does the dishes and the other one takes out the trash on a regular basis. You can also split a restaurant bill in half to make it easier to figure out who owes how much. The Sacramento Bee reports on a man in California who fraudulently obtained student loan funds and took a 50 percent cut for himself.

For more than three years, one man and an accomplice recruited more than 50 straw students to apply for student financial aid at three colleges. The applications contained false eligibility information. (Really? I would have never guessed that.) More than $200,000 in financial aid was distributed due to these bogus applications. The story states that even though most of the straw students signed up for classes, they withdrew after receiving their funds or failing grades. And as you might guess, the two fraudsters got to keep half of the proceeds for themselves. (That’s a pretty good cut.)

One of the 44-year-old fraudsters pleaded guilty to fraud and received a prison sentence of two years and nine months. The other one is awaiting sentencing.

My guess is that the judge is not going to go halfsies on the prison term. He’ll have to pay the total amount of time for his criminal acts.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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