Owner of Chesapeake barber college pleads guilty to $4.5M fraud

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WVEC) -- The owner of the College of Beauty and Barber Culture (CBBC) pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering, Wednesday. 

According to the plea agreement, 45-year-old William E. Grobes, IV owns the barber college that is located in Chesapeake. 

The barber and cosmetology school was approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide training and education to veterans, including veterans who received tuition assistance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill. 

The VA believed that CBBC was providing full-time schooling to hundreds of veterans beginning in October 2011. In reality, most veterans that enrolled in the college received little to no instruction. There were no tests and no practical exercises. Students were instead told to sign in and out of class daily, so Grobes could report that the veterans were indeed attending courses. 

In exchange for the courses, the CBBC was given Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition payments for each veteran enrolled at the college.

CBBC received over $4.5 million in Post-9/11 GI Bill tuition payments between October 2011 and September 2016. 

Grobes was charged on November 16. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. 

Grobes will be sentenced on March 8, 2017. 


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