SAN FRANCISCO Oct 10 The state of California
filed suit against Corinthian Colleges Inc for
misrepresenting job placement rates to its students and
investors, employing false and predatory advertising, and for
securities fraud, according to a court filing on Thursday.
The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco superior court on
Thursday against the company and its subsidiaries that operate
Everest, Heald and WyoTech colleges.
Corinthian, which describes itself as one of the largest
post-secondary education companies in North America, said it
would fight the suit.
For-profit colleges have come under fire in recent years for
having poor track records in helping students find employment.
Some of the colleges have faced lawsuits that alleged they
inflated job-placement statistics. The institutions have called
such accusations unfounded.
The California complaint alleges that Corinthian
intentionally targeted low-income, vulnerable individuals
through deceptive and false advertisements and aggressive
marketing campaigns that misrepresented job placement rates and
"Corinthian has engaged in conduct that has done nothing but
break these individuals down," California Attorney General
Kamala Harris told reporters.
"The complaint further alleges that Corinthian executives
knowingly misrepresented job placement rates to investors and
accrediting agencies, which harmed students, investors and
taxpayers," according to a statement from the attorney general's
Harris said Corinthian has 81,000 students, 27,000 of whom
are in California, and added that her office is conducting a
broader investigation into for-profit colleges.
Corinthian promised a vigorous defense against the
"We have been cooperating extensively with the Attorney
General's office for nine months, as we have previously
disclosed," spokesman Kent Jenkins said in an emailed statement.
"We were not given advance notice of today's complaint and have
not had the chance to review it in detail."
"We are committed to regulatory compliance and have robust
processes in place to correctly record and disclose the job
placement information we receive from our graduates and their
employers," he added.
Harris declined to specify the total damages sought from
Corinthian, or discuss whether her office had been in settlement
discussions with Corinthian before filing a lawsuit.