Couple Sued Over Alleged College Entrance Exam Scam

The Texas attorney general's office has filed suit against a Cedar Hill couple, accusing them of scamming college entrance applicants and their families with their entrance exam prep kit.

The lawsuit names James Joseph Stuart, his wife, Frances Stuart, and their SAT and ACT Prep Center as defendants.

The lawsuit alleges that the Stuarts' business marketed a CD ROM of test preparation materials for parents of college applicants for $120. The AG's staff says the same materials were outdated and available elsewhere for $10 or less.

The defendants also marketed the standardized test preparation materials by calling and falsely telling parents that their children had expressed an interest in the materials, according to the lawsuit. After placing the orders and paying for the CDs, many parents later learned that their children had never inquired about receiving the study materials.

The SAT and ACT Prep Center encouraged parents who purchased the study materials on CD to sign up for access to the company's Web page so they could periodically receive scholarship information. The defendants charged about $50 a month for parents to access the site. Many parents complained that they could not access the site to obtain this information, while others said the company never informed them about the monthly fee. 

The lawsuit says the state attorneys will ask a Dallas County state district judge to order the Stuarts to make restitution and to pay civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation.

The Stuarts' attorney Mark Hill of Dallas says his clients deny any "intentional or systematic wrongdoing" and expect to be exonerated.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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