3 Southern California women accused of stealing $1M in student loans

Posted at 4:12 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 19:12:23-04

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Three Southern California women have been arrested on suspicion of stealing more than $1 million in federal student financial aid through Fullerton College.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that the trio enrolled hundreds of mostly non-existent students, successfully applied for grants and loans and then pocketed the money.

Officials said at least two of the more than 200 names used to apply for loans were inmates in state prisons.

The Press-Enterprise reports the defendants are 32-year-old Sparkle Shorale Nelson, 31-year-old Shykeena Monique Johnson and 37-year-old Jerrika Johnson. All three have pleaded not guilty charges including conspiracy, identity theft, mail fraud and wire fraud.

A tentative trial date was set for Aug. 20. Court records did not list the attorneys representing them.