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A Diploma In Name Only

Meet Daniel Gossai, "principal" of California Alternative High School (CAHS).


Gossai describes his school as the fulfillment of his divine mission to help Latinos escape poverty through education. To further that deception, CAHS frequently holds classes in churches with the help of unwitting clergy and congregation members. The problem is the school is not accredited and the education is worthless.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A chain of private California schools that taught immigrants there are 53 U.S. states and four branches of the U.S. government was ordered to stop handing out phony diplomas this week, state Attorney General Bill Lockyer said on Friday.

Authorities seized the assets of California Alternative High School and asked a judge to stop the company's 30 schools statewide from handing out "high school diplomas" to students dreaming of a better life through education, Lockyer said.
The company charged its mainly Latino students $450 to $1,450 for a 10-week course based on a 54-page book that was riddled with errors, according to a lawsuit filed on Monday

Students learned that Congress had two houses -- the Senate for Democrats and the House for Republicans; that the U.S. flag had not been updated to reflect the addition of Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico to the "original" 50 states; that the federal "administrative" branch oversees the Treasury Department; and that World War II occurred from 1938 to 1942.

While the story is "funny" due to the poor material highlighted, the full story is a sad case of preying on immigrants. The Ventura County Star ((Registration required - login ID available at BugMeNot) reports on the human impact of the companies fraudulent practices.

Comments (8)

On Friday's program, Rush L... (Below threshold)

On Friday's program, Rush Limbaugh tried to paint this story as part of -- you guessed it! -- a liberal conspiracy to keep immigrants uninformed and, I presume, dependent on the Democratic Party. Of course, Rush also suggested the bit about the stars not being added to the flag was done to get Puerto Rican students upset at the current administration (i.e. "What do you mean we're a state but we're not on the flag! That's unfair!").

Sure, this is obviously a scam, but I'm fairly confident that it's an old fashioned money-making scam -- not a political scam.

And, while the article isn't quite clear on the matter, it sounds like a lot of the "facts" cited were coming from the course workbooks. As a political science teacher at a state university, I can say from experience that factual errors of this magnitude frequently pop up in workbooks and study guides to even the most widely-used textbooks. The workbooks are often compiled by an editor rather than an author, or simply farmed out to some technical writer with no experience in the field. It tends to yield substandard -- and oftentimes patently incorrect -- results.

Are you positive this wasn'... (Below threshold)

Are you positive this wasn't public school? Seems that these folks learned "facts" about the U.S. that are close enough for the moonbats.

Bo's comments asside. This ... (Below threshold)

Bo's comments asside. This is a sad case, and the people involved should be jailed.

Agreed, David. I really get... (Below threshold)

Agreed, David. I really get stoked up about illegals getting rights and benefits that should be reserved for citizens, but some idiot taking advantage of legal immigrants who do seek to assimilate (and better themselves by so doing) should be afforded the opportunity to inquire in person about the details of his "divine mission".

I tend to wonder how some 30 "schools" opened without anyone checking into things just a little bit. I'm assuming the government had the attitude that, like some of the "learn-at-home" programs, the diplomas weren't going to be worth the paper they were printed on, but at the same time there's a little more weight that goes with a diploma than usually accompanies a "Central Technical School" certificate of graduation from the "CB Radio Repair" course.

BTW, if I didn't know you better, I'd have taken the "ass"-ide thing personally.

There seems to be some scam... (Below threshold)

There seems to be some scamming involved by some private adult schools that get state money. If this school got state money that would add a new dimension to this story.

It all started in When Bess... (Below threshold)
Stephen Allan Shikes, Esq.:

It all started in When Bessie and Saira Echeverria and Maria Quinones found out that their “high school diploma”s from CAHS were not valid for enrolling West Valley Occupational Center nursing program. They asked CAHS Principal Gossai for their money back and told other people in the community that that the school was a sham and the diploma was worthless. Most people didn't believe them and Gossai didn't give them their money back. They sued Gossai in Small Claims Court for the return of their tuition.
GOSSAI responded with a lawsuit of his own. He sued them each for two million dollars in a Superior Court action alleging Defamation, Fraud, and Interference with Business. Others who had also been ripped off by Gossai ran in the other direction when my clients went to them for support. People were intimidated and afraid of being sued by Gossai.
Bessy, Saira and Maria deserve the credit for taking on Gossai. They are the ones who are being sued for two million dollars, not anyone else.
I am the lawyer who is defending them from Gossai's two million dollar law suit. I counter sued Gossai and in December of 2003 we obtained an Injunction against Gossai for false and misleading advertising
A jury trial for Gossai's two million dollar law suit against Bessy, Saira and Maria and their counter suit against Gossai is set for September 23, 2004.
I will be happy to E-mail anyone who is interested a copy of our pleadings for the injunction that was ordered by the Court. They tell the story and relate it to the law. You will be happy to know that the Law does not tolerate pond-scum like Gossai preying on any group or individual.
It was gratifying to read the comments which reflected a genuine, and very appropriate sympathy, for the victims. My clients are immigrants and citizens in the finest tradition and spirit of America. They fought back.
To those of you who follow this thread, thank you for your interest and your comments.
On a personal note, I have a Criminal Law practice; I took this case because nobody else would and somebody had to. I'm glad I did.


If anyone needs help agains... (Below threshold)

If anyone needs help against so called DR Gossai,, he obviously lied to everyone.. I encountered his false fraudulent behavior in 1996 and 1997. I also attended his school in carson. unfortunitly none of the so called credits we suppsbly got was legit .. thnx god there was an attorney that put a stop to this Dr Gossai.. if u like to contact me at e-mail adress [email protected]

Another attempt of fraud in... (Below threshold)

Another attempt of fraud in the field of higher education. They are swindling both people and government. They need to be punixhed thoroughly!






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