« on: January 23, 2008, 03:42:57 PM »
What a jerk, be careful out there ya'll:
LSAT prep course owner accused of running scam
By Stephen Keller, Daily Texan
Police said they believe an Austin man stole thousands of dollars from law school hopefuls nationwide.
Thomas Lowry, the 57-year-old owner and operator of LSAT Intensive Review, is accused of scamming college students with a fake prep course for the Law School Admission Test, said Senior Police Officer Veneza Aguiņaga, spokeswoman for the Austin Police Department.
"He advertised about this class and then decided that he was going to cancel the classes," Aguiņaga said. "There was promise of some reimbursement for the canceled classes, but those were never made to anybody."
Officials said Lowry has been charged with one count of theft, but police are investigating more than 30 additional victims. Officials said each charge is punishable by 180 days to two years incarceration and up to $10,000 in fines. About 21 counts submitted proof of payment and gave written statements to police, Aguiņaga said. Police believe Lowry operated the prep course for more than 20 years in Austin before attempting to scam students.
Though police could not confirm if Lowry had been charged with previous crimes, the department released a booking photo of the suspect from 2003, Tuesday.
"I believe advertisements for this particular course began in May of 2007, then the classes were canceled beginning in September," Aguiņaga said. "There were advertisements online. Some of the victims claim there were advertisements on paper at several different college campuses. I don't know what his motive was or why after 20 years, in May of 2007 he was going to scam people."
One of the victims tipped off police in September, Aguiņaga said. She said she did not know if any of the victims were UT
"I don't believe he tried to hide his name or anything like that; he was just out in the open," she said.
Aguiņaga said she did not know the amount students paid to enroll in the course.
"I think it was under $400," she said. "For any college student, or anybody really, that's a large amount of money to lose out."