Earlier this month, fifteen state attorneys general announced an investigation into QuinStreet for its role in connecting veterans and servicemembers to its for-profit school clients via a website called “GIBill.com” — which is not affiliated with the U.S. government.
But all that’s about to change. Today Gov. Jack Conway (D-KY) announced a settlement with QuinStreet, the Army Times reports:
QuinStreet Inc., a marketing company accused of misleading veterans and steering them toward for-profit colleges, will hand over its GIBill.com domain to the Veterans Affairs Department and pay $2.5 million to cover investigation costs under an agreement signed Tuesday with the attorneys general of several states.
QuinStreet posted the terms of the voluntary agreement in a Securities Exchange Commission filing linked to from its Wednesday. According to the filing, QuinStreet has been negotiating with the attorneys general of several states. Fifteen states were investigating the company for violation of their consumer protection laws.
“This company preyed on our veterans who received educational benefits as a result of their military service to our country,” General Conway said in a statement. “The actions were unconscionable and purposefully drove veterans to for-profit colleges who were perhaps more interested in getting their hands on the federal benefits than in educating our soldiers and their families.”
Among other terms of the settlement, social media accounts associated with GIBill.com will be shut down and QuinStreet’s military-related websites will be required to unavoidably disclose that they are not affiliated or operated by the U.S. government. QuinStreet sites will also “no longer be able to make any claims that the information presented on the site is ‘neutral’ or ‘unbiased’ or that schools are “top” or “best” unless the information comes from an independent source.”