It has been a very busy week with new developments in our investigation into the questionable business practices of some for-profit colleges in Kentucky, our fight against pill mills and prescription drug abuse.
On Wednesday, my Office filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Spencerian College alleging that the for-profit school misrepresented job placement numbers to consumers. This marks the fourth lawsuit we've filed as part of my ongoing investigation of the for-profit college industry.
Spencerian, which is owned by the Sullivan University System, provided students with information that it knew was false. Our investigation found that the job placement numbers Spencerian promoted publically were, in many instances, 30 to 40 percent higher than the numbers it reported to its national accreditor.
I believe Spencerian was more concerned about getting its hands on student loan money than in educating students and placing them in jobs. They preyed on people who were trying to build better lives. Our complaint seeks an injunction against Spencerian to prohibit further deceptive trade practices and civil penalties of $2,000 per violation.
If you attended Spencerian from 2007 until the present and want to file a complaint or provide information to my Office, please visit ag.ky.gov and click on "Student Complaints."
On Monday, we announced the arrest and indictment of 44-year-old Ernest "Will" Singleton and several of his business entities for prescription drug and money laundering conspiracies.
The charges against Singleton, who operated pain management centers in Georgetown and Dry Ridge, are the result of an 18-month investigation by my Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) working in partnership with the DEA, IRS and Kentucky State Police. The U.S. Attorney's Office is handling the prosecution. Please see our press release for more information.
I appreciate Senator Jimmy Higdon and Rep. Terry Mills joining me at Marion County High School yesterday to talk to students about the devastating consequences of prescription drug abuse. I am grateful for all they are doing to ensure that Kentucky doesn't lose another generation to this scourge. Thanks to Principal Stacey Hall and Superintendent Chuck Hamilton our program was broadcast to all Marion County schools yesterday.
My Keep Kentucky Kids Safe partners and I also received a warm welcome at North Bullitt High School yesterday where we spoke to more than 1,500 high school and middle school students. As always, I am grateful to Dr. Karen Shay, Mike Donta and the other concerned parents who travel with me to talk about the heavy toll prescription drug abuse has taken on their families. For more information, please see our press release.
Also, make sure to watch the new public service announcement we are distributing with the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy on heroin abuse.
On Monday, January 21 my Office will be closed along with other state government agencies in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Whether privately, or as part of a public celebration, let us all take a moment to remember Dr. King's legacy and his message of hope, healing and peace.