Iowan to serve prison time for student loan fraud

A judge has sentenced an Iowa man to more than 4 years in prison for his role in a scheme in which he and others fraudulently obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal student loans.

U.S. District Judge Linda Reade on Wednesday sentenced 31-year-old Michael Cortez of Cedar Rapids to 51 months behind bars followed by 3 years of supervised release. She also ordered him to pay restitution of $265,000 to the U.S. Department of Education.

Cortez is expected to report to prison at a later date.

Cortez had pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and acknowledged that he and others applied for federal student aid in other people’s names and arranged for checks to be directed to a post office box he and a co-schemer controlled.