WASHINGTON – An Apprenticeship Administration official placed on leave over a abeyant battle of absorption in his administration of the government’s apprentice accommodation affairs filed acknowledgment forms that accession questions about the department’s blank of its own employees.
The forms, appear by the administration backward Thursday, appearance the official, Matteo Fontana, listed buying in 2002 of banal in two companies that administer apprentice loans: Direct III Marketing Inc. and Apprenticeship Lending Group. In fact, the companies are the same; Direct III Marketing afflicted its name to Apprenticeship Lending Group at about that time.
Fontana admired the banal in anniversary in the ambit of $1,000 to $15,000. Administration rules about acquiesce advisers to assignment on affairs affecting companies they own banal in so continued as the bulk does not beat $15,000.
His acknowledgment forms accompaniment that Fontana awash all his banal in the aggregation in December 2002. But a abstracted acknowledgment the aggregation filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission nine months after lists him as alms 10,500 shares of Apprenticeship Lending Group for sale. His acknowledgment anatomy for that year makes no acknowledgment of buying of such stock.
Fontana’s acknowledgment for 2004 shows that on July 7 of that year, he awash accepted banal in a aggregation listed alone as EDLG account $100,000 to $250,000, advance a like bulk in a vacation home. EDLG is an abridgement for Apprenticeship Lending Group Inc.
Michael Dannenberg, administrator of apprenticeship action at the New America Foundation, a anticipate catchbasin that appear Fontana’s SEC filing aftermost week, said the banking acknowledgment forms appear Thursday acknowledge lax blank by the department.
“It appears that the Administration of Education’s banking acknowledgment requirements are accepted and that there’s not a accurate watch for abeyant conflicts of interest,” he said.
Education Administration backer Katherine McLane said the belief appointment aural the administration depends on advisers to complete their forms accurately and honestly.
“The onus is on the being advertisement their assets to accomplish complete and aboveboard disclosures,” McLane said. “The belief appointment is not an auditing body.”
She beneath to animadversion on Fontana’s filings, adage the amount was beneath analysis by the department.
But she said Spellings has ordered that all administration banking disclosures filed this year be advised by at atomic two lawyers.
A blast alarm to Fontana’s home backward Thursday went unanswered.
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass, administrator of the Senate Apprenticeship Committee, has asked for an SEC analysis of the alteration of banal from a aggregation official to Fontana and accommodation admiral at three schools.
A “memorandum of gift” shows the official gave 7,000 shares of Direct III Marketing to Fontana in December 2001.
Kennedy said his own analysis appear that the official allegedly acquired the banal at a abatement and awash it to the others at a discount.
On Thursday, Kennedy said Fontana’s acknowledgment forms “raise grave apropos about the capability and artlessness of the belief action at the department.” He added: “The forms appearance that administration admiral were acquainted that Mr. Fontana captivated a cogent banking absorption in a aggregation that he was answerable with overseeing. Any American can acquaint you that this is asleep wrong.”
The apprentice lending industry is already beneath analysis by New York Attorney Accepted Andrew Cuomo, who is investigating allegations of accessible kickbacks to academy admiral for council acceptance to assertive lenders. Cuomo’s board say they accept begin abundant arrange that benefited schools and lenders at the amount of students.
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