TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi, announced a tentative multimillion dollar settlement with Aequitas, a now defunct investment firm that engaged in a scheme to fund private student loans to Corinthian Colleges students. The settlement resolves allegations that Aequitas, through its involvement in a student loan program, engaged in deceptive and unfair practices in violation of state and federal law. As part of the settlement, Aequitas will provide more than $18 million in debt relief to more than 4,900 Floridians who obtained private student loans to attend Corinthian Colleges. All affected students will get at least 50 percent debt relief, with the majority getting 100 percent relief.
Aequitas entered into a complex financial arrangement with the now bankrupt Corinthian Colleges to fund expensive student loans through a program called Genesis Private Student Loan Program. Aequitas allegedly funded the loans to give the false appearance that Corinthian was financially sound while leaving students with substantial debt that many could not repay. Corinthian shut down in 2015, but Florida students were left owing more than $20 million in expensive loans.
Florida is joined in the proposed settlement by 12 other state attorneys general and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In total, the agreement provides $192 million for more than 46,000 former Corinthian students across the nation. The Oregon federal court overseeing the Aequitas receivership has approved the settlement terms and the Florida complaint and proposed consent judgment will subsequently be filed in Florida state court for court approval.
In addition to Florida, participants in the settlement include: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.