Monday, August 6, 2007

Crown College Loses ACCSCT Accreditation!

Finally, it has happened, Crown College's accrediting agency the ACCSCT could not ignore the antics and misadventures of John Wabel and Sheila Mullineaux (both pictured) and their merry gang of deceitful thieves who have been running a reverse Robin Hood scam, stealing from the poor and giving to the rich, mainly themselves. They have systematically instructed their admission representatives to lie to students about the transferability of their credits since at least 1998. About 50 victims of this fraud have come forth and the testimony of ten of them was instrumental to the jury finding that Crown College had violated the Consumer Protection Act in early 2006. It takes a "special" person to blatantly lie repeatedly to poor students who are attempting to improve their economical standing. A letter from the ACCSCT dated July 31, 2007, that it has revoked Crown College's accreditation. Unfortunately, many of the students that they swindled will not get their day in court or any other recompense. One of the reasons that Crown College was able to get away with their little charade was because they fell into a regulatory crack. Since they granted degrees the were not under the auspices of the WorkForce Board. Since they had been operating in Washington state for some time accredited by an agency recognized by the Department of Eduction, to wit, the ACCSCT they were exempt from the HEC Board. By virtue of the ACCSCT pulling their accreditation, they have lost that exemption. If they "reopen" they will have to apply to the HEC Board for approval. Hard to see how they will merit such approval and if they do, the HEC Board will certainly by a more stringent master than the ACCSCT and will not put up for their deceptive practices.

Hmmm, does that mean that regulation works, well eventually maybe and helped out by other factors, mainly a trio of successful lawsuits and the resulting mass of bad publicity. The ACCSCT has had Crown College on probation more times than Alan Sandler had bad dates. In fact, they were on probation when they were first sued back in January of 2006. A Pierce County jury found that they had violated the Washington State Consumer Protection Act and the judge awarded a $6,000 judgment and $77,000 in attorney fees. They settled another lawsuit for $87,000. Those lawsuits shined a decidedly unflattering light on the school. According to an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal, this may well be the final demise of a school which was built on not too subtle lies and deception.

There is an article in the Seattle Times about Crown College closing. I thought I might die from lack of oxygen, it being very difficult to breath while laughing. "Not a dry eye in the building." Who knew that crooks could cry, well apparently when it comes to be separated from their money. I wonder how many dry eyes are among their many student victims. Sheila Mullineux talks about how they are the Little Engine That Could School which is apparently the party line. In reality, they are a school that has generated money based completely on lies and they have lied with astounding impunity and a disregard for reality that is astonishing in its scope. They have probably built up such an immunity to truth such that their tongues might break out in sores if they spoke it! John Wabel denials that Crown's admission representatives lied to prospective students ratchets up in direct proportion to the evidence they they did. At the Gonzalez trial, one of the jury members told me that Mr. Wabel was his own worst enemy and he continues to be. In a Tacoma News Tribune they claim they will do some restructuring and reopen. Perhaps they mean the installation of truth monitors...

Approximately 50, and counting, former students have come forward and told attorneys or news media that they have been told by Crown College admission representatives that Crown College's credits would transfer to regionally accredited schools. Crown lost one lawsuit and settled two. There are two more pending lawsuits right now. Dale Pryor v. Killebrew/Dalton, Inc., John Wabel and Sheila Mullineux, Pierce County Case No. 07 2 060885 and Roberta Swigert and Janelle Page v. Killebrew/Dalton, Inc. and John Wabel, also in Pierce County Superior Court. In the second lawsuit, the plaintiffs have schedule a motion for default as the defendants have not filed an answer.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I worked as an admissions rep for these clowns in the mid 1990's for about a year. I finally left because I felt like a immoral scumbag. It was so bad that I wanted to puke before each work day. I can't believe they have lasted this long!
John Wabel is a slime-dog who deserves every ounce of these lawsuits. Good luck working on the used car lots Big John!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a "past" student - I started with the school when they started up here in Everett - I went back this year to "finally" get my degree - what a freeking joke! They of course lied like their good at saying YES my credit would transfer. Now that I'm over $20 grand in the whole for trying to get a degree to better myself - I'm stuck paying all this back while they laugh all the way to the bank! I'm a single mom who was just trying to better herself and may a better life for me and my little girl. John Wabel can you live with what you've done - can you even sleep at nite? You're a pathetic crook - I hope you and that lady friend of yours get what you deserve! You dont have a dry eye? what about all of us who took loans out believing we were going to get degrees? Our eyes wont be dry for a very long time.
I hope you and her both ROT!

Anonymous said...

So do any of us who did attend here have any recourse whatsoever about getting any of the money back taken out in thousands of dollars worth of loans? Just doesn't seem right that these two VERY evil and coniving people can get away from taking away from those of us who are innocent in all this ugly mess!

Anonymous said...

I am also a former admissions representative that was trained by John Wabel personally. I was trained to tell students that we were accredited, but to not disucss the difference between national and regional accreditation. I was asked to fill in documents and change dates on forms (which I refused to do, then found myself out of job). I was reprimanded by management for telling a prospective student that her credits would probably not transfer to the UW law school. Many of the employees with a title of "Director" didn't even have college degrees, including the "Director" of Financial Aid. Mangement continually hired their own friends for important financial positions. I hope these people finally get their time in jail!

Anonymous said...

I am also a former admissions representative that was trained by John Wabel personally. I was trained to tell prospective students that we were "accredited" but not to discuss the details of national and regional accreditation. I was asked for forge initials and change dates on documents (and when I refused I found myself out of a job). Many of the employees with a "Director" title (especially the Director of Financial Aid) don't even have college degrees, but are friends of Sheila. I hope these people finally get their time in jail, where they belong.

Anonymous said...

Wish I had gotten all this information sooner. I am also a former student who finished classes a year ago and I am still waiting on my degree. In March 2007 I received emails from someone named Cathy Teager threatening to sue me for 40.00 some dollars for a book they said I needed and purchased, and turned out I didn't need. By then of course I discovered the credits were worthless, the degree is worthless seems the only thing I got out of the deal is a 20,000.00 debt to Sallie Mae. Hmmm seems there should be some recourse for us former students. The first question I asked the admission counselor was "Will the credits transfer?" And he of course said absolutely. I didn't even receive the student handbook until they had my money. A few months after I started classes I tried calling the Admissions counselor I had dealt with only to discover he no longer was employed there. You know they also accepted students that hadn't even graduated high school or gotten a GED. But when the investigations started they went to expell her and when she made a "stink" they gave her time to acquire her GED. Boy to know what I know now!!!!! Jill Feay

Brad Teaford said...

I graduated from their environmental technician program when they were still being called an academy. I as well asked about transferrability of credits and was told that they would not transfer to anywhere except Evergreen State College and that was because of an agreement they had with them. I never confirmed whether the cedits actually would have transferred but i can say that i have been quite successful in the environmental industry and the instruction i received there was superior to what i got when i continued my education in college. I can't vouch for what they told others in my class as i have lost contact with them all but even with the credits not transferring, the knowledge the environmental instructors gave me has been invaluable to my success.

Scott Haley said...

As Brad Teaford's former primary instructor at Crown, I'm gratified by his comments. I taught at Crown Academy for approximately two and a half years, and left in 1995 when the school dropped the Environmental Technician Training Program. As I was told by John Wabel and Stephen Jones, I also (when asked) told prospective students that only Evergreen State College would accept Crown credits.
Scott Haley
scottfree12@hotmail.com

kris said...

I worked for Crown College up until the final days. Sorry to hear what everyone went through, I can't imagine what everyone was feeling.

I hope the best for all of the ex Crown College students.

Karen Howell said...

I too am a Crown Grad. The education I received from Crown was of good quality. I am now a grad student at a regionally accredited university (Jones International), and I can boldly state that Crown was a better school in the academic sense. In fact, I wish Crown was still around. Karen Howell