The Texas Workforce Commission is ordering a sonogram school to pay up and stop accepting new students, following a FOX 4 undercover investigation.
"I was afraid would not get any money back," said Gail Davis who attended the Diagnostic Medical Institute in Fort Worth.
"Twenty grand," Reporter Becky Oliver said. "That is a lot of money."
"Yes," said Candice Schuff, another former student.
"And it was a lot of time for you?" Oliver questioned.
"Yes, which I cannot get back," Schuff told her.
These two women lost their money and their dream of becoming a cardiac sonographer. But now the TWC has ordered the school to pay them back.
In November 2011, FOX 4 went undercover and met the owner, Mumtaz Farash, a convicted felon, who promised her school could deliver a high-paying job. But when questioned, Farash refused to give out any specific information about her graduates and where they were working.
"The reason is the confidentiality. When you decide to come here, I will show you the letters, the names," Farash told the FOX 4 employee.
Farash reported to the state 84 percent of her students found jobs over the past four years. The TWC said an audit showed it was only 26 percent.
The state also found the school:
---Misrepresented the program by failing to provide genuine clinical training.
--- Failed to provide training so students could pass the sonography certification exam.
Four students complained to the state. Now Farash must pay them back, stop accepting new students and stop taking any more money.
FOX 4 went by the Diagnostic Medical Institute looking for Farash. She wasn't there, but was at a fast food restaurant down the street.
Farash explained to Oliver that she was appealing the refunds. She said the TWC miscalculated the employment rate. And She said she is a victim and students like Schuff who complained to the state were just bad students.
"They ordered you to pay her back $19," Oliver said to Farash.
"I am appealing because all of these allegations are wrong," Farash said.
"I am not rich," Farash continued.
"This is a pretty nice car you have here," Oliver said.
"This is an old car," Farash said.
Farash drives a Mercedes and is listed as the owner of a $812,000 house on a golf course.
"Do you have any money I can borrow to pay them?" Farash asked Oliver.
"I didn't take their money so I should not have to pay them back," Oliver continued.
The TWC is giving Farash 60 days to issue the refunds and clean up her act. The state did not shut her down.
The women said it was a tough lesson to learn. They think the state should do a better job policing career schools.
"I think she should be shut down. She is a convicted felon," Davis said.
"I truly believe if I had not contacted you, this would still probably be in the wind," she told Oliver.
"It is really kind of devastating," Schuff concluded.
KDFW FOX 4
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