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WWASPS Back in Court


25 Parents File $100,000,000 Class-Action Law Suit Alleging Fraudulent Tactics

SYRACUSE, NY (July 28, 2006) Attorney Christopher Todd of Hancock & Estabrook, LLP, confirmed their firm filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of 25 plaintiffs and against Academy of Ivy Ridge, WWASPS, Robert Lichfield, Lifeline Family Services, Premier Educational Systems, Jason Finlinson, among others (see link to Complaint below.)

Plaintiffs alleged in their Complaint that defendants fraudulently advertised Academy of Ivy Ridge (AIR) as an accredited boarding school licensed to issue credits and diplomas to its students.

AIR allegedly falsely and fraudulently certified to educational lending institutions, including Sallie Mae and Key Bank, that they were a licensed and accredited private boarding high school authorized by the State of New York to issue diplomas in order that parents could qualify for restricted educational loans to pay their monthly tuition of about $2,800 to $4,000.

Jason Finlinson, Alyn Mitchell, and Joseph Mitchell, allegedly failed to operate under the laws of the State of NY. Robert Lichfield allegedly purchased the property for AIR and used his personal connections with Ivy Ridge’s accreditation agency, Northwest Assoc. of Schools, to blindly allow WWASP to claim accreditation though they did not meet Northwest’s own standards.

The Complaint alleges parents seeking legitimate boarding and military schools were preyed upon by marketing entities to funnel them to WWASPS. Promotional materials featured idyllic and modern facilities and promised all “schools” were “fully accredited”.

AIR allegedly never applied for certification required from the NY Board of Regents prior to advertising their students would be eligible to receive high school diplomas, diplomas that were not recognized by any state or governmental entity and none of the credits earned were valid educational credits recognized by the State of NY.

Parents alleged they were misrepresented and led to believe AIR was licensed and authorized by the State of NY to award junior and high school credits and/or diplomas. Plaintiffs were damaged as a direct result and should be compensated to the fullest extent permitted by law. Had they known the truth, they would not have entered into the Enrollment Agreement or spent exorbitant amounts of money on tuition and incidentals.

As a result of the wrongful, malicious, and illegal acts of the defendants, plaintiffs are seeking $100,000,000 and a jury trial.


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