Serial Fraudster Scholar to Receive Five Years’ Probation

probation, student loan fraud, fraud, female
Cayva Chandra pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of student loan fraud.  She had submitted forged letters of recommendation and forged transcripts to several institutions of higher learning including Cornell University.  Cornell caught and expelled her, but she was able to fraudlently enroll at Indiana Univeristy-Purdue University at Indianapolis.  She then completed her bachelor’s degree and sought admission to medical school when she was finally caught.  Indiana-Purdue subsequently rescinded her backehlor’s degree.  She has been order to pay over $70,000 in restitution to Cornell plus a $1,000 fine. Her case is notable not only because student loan fraud is rarely prosecuted criminally, but also because of her sentence to straight probation.  In fiscal year 2016, only 7.3% of federal defendants receive a sentence of straight probation.  Before the enactment of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines in 1987, over half of all federal defendants received straight probation. A DOJ press release about the case can be accessed here.

Mark Allenbaugh serves as President and Chief Research Officer of, Inc.. He is a former staff attorney for the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and a co-editor of "Sentencing, Sanctions, and Corrections: Federal and State Law, Policy, and Practice" (2nd ed., Foundation Press, 2002). Mark is widely regarded as a national expert in Federal sentencing guidelines, analysis and strategy.

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