Timeline of Events








 

 

COURT GRANTS PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF

PARTIAL SETTLEMENT IN BELFORD HIGH SCHOOL CLASS ACTION

 

In an order entered on March 30, 2017, the Court in charge of the Belford Class Action granted preliminary approval of a partial settlement of claims in the Belford High School Class Action. The Settlement would secure $250,000 for the benefit of the class of victims of Belford High School.

Notice of the settlement will be sent to Belford High School class members via e-mail in early April 2017.

You may also obtain a copy of the Notice here. The Notice contains a claim form that class members can complete and submit to the claims administrator to obtain a share of the settlement proceeds. Claim forms must be postmarked on or before June 12, 2017.

The Court has scheduled a hearing to consider final approval of the settlement on July 10, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

For more information on the Partial Settlement, click here.
 

 

BACKGROUND ON BELFORD HIGH SCHOOL FRAUD
 

On August 31, 2012, Belford High School, Belford University and a host of their co-conspirators were ordered to pay more than $22.7 million to the victims of their scams, a class of more than 30,000 U.S. residents who were duped into purchasing fake high school diplomas from Belford. The judgment established the truth of allegations that Belford High School and Belford University are fake schools that do not actually exist.

Belford was also ordered to forfeit the websites used to perpetrate its scam, including www.belfordhighscool.com, www.belfordhighschool.org, www.belforduniversity.org, and www.belforduniversity.com. These scam websites have now been taken down so they can no longer harm consumers.

These significant developments come as a result of extensive efforts that have occurred since the case was filed in November 2009 by The Googasian Firm, P.C., a Michigan-based law firm appointed by the federal court to represent the class of more than 30,000 U.S. residents who were victimized by Belford’s scam. For a timeline of significant events and rulings relating to the litigation and Belford High School, click here.

The lawsuit, filed on November 5, 2009, alleged that Belford High School is an internet scam that defrauds students of their money. The lawsuit alleged that Belford High School takes students’ money by offering them a supposedly “valid” and “accredited” high school diploma, but that the school is fake and the diplomas are not valid. The lawsuit alleged that the two accrediting agencies by which Belford claimed to be accredited – International Accreditation Agency for Online Universities and the Universal Council for Online Education Accreditation – are not legitimate accrediting agencies. The lawsuit alleged that these two accrediting agencies, like Belford, are fake. The judgment entered by the Court confirmed these facts as true. From July 2010 to October 2011, Belford was represented by The Miller Law Firm of Rochester, Michigan. The Miller Law Firm opposed class certification on behalf of Belford during its period of representation, but the Court rejected the arguments made on behalf of Belford and certified the case as a class action.

Counsel for the Class of Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Thomas H. Howlett and Dean M. Googasian of The Googasian Firm, P.C., based in Michigan. These attorneys have served as class counsel to thousands of current and former students of private and for-profit schools in multiple class actions. To contact The Googasian Firm about Belford or any other concern you may have about a for profit school, you may click here.

The Googasian Firm, P.C. is a law firm that aims to help those who are victims of unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices committed by private and for-profit schools. If you have concerns about a “high school,” trade school, career school or “college” or “university,” you may click here to share these concerns with the law firm.