Miami attorney Jack Hickey of the Hickey Law Firm, P.A. has been profiled in the Miami Herald newspaper on August 31, 2013 after he and his client Dulce M. Ramirez-Damon were instrumental in a settlement of $3.7 million paid by defunct for-profit college ATI Career Training Center.
In 2011 Ramirez-Damon, who was then assistant director of the Fort Lauderdale campus of the college, decided to come forward with allegations of fraud by the company. Among the shocking details were the the college had virtually no interest in the academic development of their students, but instead used them in order to secure federal student loan dollars. The college was accused of visiting strip clubs and homeless shelters looking for students to enroll, students who would then apply for federal student loans which would be paid directly to ATI. The company reportedly falsified student records and attendance rolls, to give the image that the college was give a more robust education than it actually did.
Jack Hickey was quoted in the Miami Herald saying “It was a real bad deal for everybody, except for the people at the top making money.” As a result of the settlement, in which ATI admitted no wrongdoing, the company agreed to pay a $3.7 million settlement, of which at least $2 million will reportedly go to repaying some of the loans students were convinced to take. Additionally ATI was to be liquidated and placed in receivership.