Las Vegas woman indicted for using prison inmates’ identities to obtain student loans

(USAF / Joshua Magbanua)
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 2:41 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A Las Vegas woman is one of three indicted by a federal grand jury alleging they used the identities of California prison inmates to enroll them into college and fraudulently collect their student aid - stealing nearly $1 million.

Dionne Ramsey, 36, of Las Vegas, Nyisha Ramsey, 43, of Lancaster, Calif., and Sharyn Barney, 62, of Lancaster, face charges of wire fraud affecting a financial institution and bank fraud.

Dionne Ramsey faces four additional counts of wire fraud.

According to the indictment, from 2012 to 2017, the three women obtained personal identifying information including names and Social Security numbers of prison inmates and other victims. They then used this info to fradulently enroll in community colleges.

They would pose as the students for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid - FAFSA - and direct those funds to bank accounts they had.

The three allegedly stole about $980,000 in funds that were not used to pay for the cost of attending college.

People in prison are not eligible for such funds, either.

Nyisha Ramsey and Barney have been released on bond and have pleaded not guilty. Their next hearing is April 25.

Dionne Ramsey made her initial appearance in court on Thursday.

If convicted of all charges, each defendant would face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for each count.