Hennepin County Judge James Moore ordered Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business to provide reimbursement of tuition and related schooling fees to students in the schools’ criminal justice program.
Wednesday’s ruling marks the latest blow against the for-profit institutions, which have spent the last two years fighting fraud accusations.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson initiated the legal battle
with Woodbury-based Globe and Blaine-based MSB in 2014, claiming the schools manipulated criminal justice students with the promise of earning a degree that could land them a job in their field of work post-graduation. Instead, criminal justice students discovered the credits they earned would often not transfer to other academic institutions, or their degrees did not meet the standards required to become a probation officer or police officer in Minnesota.
Globe and MSB—both of which are owned by entrepreneur Terry Myhre—have repeatedly denied the claims against them. In a recent statement, the schools said they “tried several times to reach a reasonable resolution with the Attorney General on the issue, but she remained unwilling to work with us.”
Additionally, Globe and MSB believe Swanson’s “goal from the very beginning has been to put the schools out of business.”
Swanson’s case had been built on the testimony of 15 students who spoke during the trial last year. Judge Moore ruled on Wednesday that those students would be offered restitution, the Star Tribune reported, as would anyone enrolled as a criminal justice student at the schools after January 1, 2009.
A spokesperson from the Swanson’s office told the Star Tribune that 1,239 students are believed to be affected and will have 45 days to submit a claim.
Aside from Wednesday’s ruling, the futures of Globe and MSB have been bleak. Last September, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education revoked both schools’ license to operate. Shortly thereafter, in December, the U.S. Department of Education pulled tens of millions of dollars in federal student aid support
for Globe and MSB, ultimately forcing the schools to close their doors at the end of the year.