Feb 3, 2016 8:40 PM by News Staff
A nationwide beauty school that operates 56 campuses around the country, including ones here in Chico and Redding, is facing tough accusations from the federal government, including falsifying records and cheating students out of money. School administrators at Marinello Schools of Beauty are accused of falsifying federal financial aid records by allegedly offering funding to some students with invalid high school diplomas. They're also accused of cheating students out of money by either charging them too much or withholding the federal aid they deserved. In a statement from Marinello, the school denies any wrongdoing and calls the state's actions "unfounded," saying the lack of due process is causing irreparable harm. While the investigation continues, the Department of Education announced it cut off federal funding for 23 Marinello schools in Nevada and California, directly affecting more than 2,000 students. HERE IS THE COMPLETE STATEMENT FROM MARINELLO: "Despite Marinello Schools of Beauty's long history of compliance with regulatory requirements, the Department of Education has delayed funding to our students for over two months without specifying allegations of wrongdoing or even allowing us to respond. Repeated attempts to get the most basic information from the Department of Education about their potential concerns were rebuffed. We repeatedly informed the Department that its actions could lead to the closure of the schools and it refused to provide any information about its concerns. This complete lack of due process has caused Marinello irreparable harm. "Without providing Marinello any time to refute or defend these untrue accusations, the Department chose to cut off funding to our students at 23 schools, none of which has ever been found to have any curriculum or instructional deficiencies by our nationally recognized accreditors or the states in which they operate. We intend to appeal this decision and believe we have done nothing wrong and will defend ourselves vigorously. We object strongly to the lack of due process the Department has afforded, which in turn has put our operations at risk. If the Department is convinced of its position then it should have provided us with due process to contest its findings. "The Department's unilateral action risks the worst possible consequences for our students, faculty and staff: the disruption of education for approximately 4,300 students and the loss of approximately 800 jobs, all without providing us sufficient opportunity to respond to these unfounded allegations. "We have helped tens of thousands of deserving students obtain licensure in professional occupations for more than 110 years, but that may end due to these unprecedented and unfounded actions by the Department of Education."