Founder of student aid startup Frank pleads not guilty to fraud

May 22, 2023, 1:33 PM | Updated: 2:12 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — With an indictment and a not-guilty plea, the fraud case against the founder of a student loan assistance startup company that J.P. Morgan Chase acquired for $175 million two years ago took a step toward trial on Monday in a New York court.

Charlie Javice, 31, entered the plea through her lawyer to an indictment returned late last week in Manhattan federal court charging her with conspiracy, wire fraud and bank fraud.

The Miami Beach, Florida, resident who founded Frank appeared at a remote proceeding in which her face and the faces of defense lawyers and prosecutors were projected onto a video screen before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein. He said her next appearance was scheduled for June 6 before a judge who would preside over a trial.

Javice, who is free on $2 million bail, is charged with tricking JPMC into buying her company by producing data to make it seem like Frank had over 4.25 million customers when it had fewer than 300,000 clients. At the time of her early April arrest, authorities said she would have earned $45 million from her fraud.

In early May, the deadline to bring an indictment against Javice was postponed as prosecutors filed a letter to say that the government wanted another 30 days to “engage in further discussions with counsel about the disposition of this case.”

Although negotiations of this sort sometimes result in deals, the indictment was a signal that the case was now on the road to trial for a woman who had appeared on the Forbes 2019 “30 Under 30” list of young professionals whose impactful careers seemed to be on an upward trajectory worthy of admiration.

Her lawyer, Alex Spiro, may have reflected the acrimonious atmosphere reflected by the breakdown of talks and the arrival of the indictment late last week when he complained that prosecutors have not turned over any evidence in the case.

“We’ve gotten nothing,” he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dina McLeod noted that the indictment was fresh.

“This is a complex case,” she said, adding that the large number of documents that will be turned over to the defense before trial needs to be reviewed by prosecutors first.

The indictment largely mirrored a criminal complaint released when Javice was arrested. It charged her with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud along with separate wire fraud, bank fraud and securities fraud counts.

In 2017, Javice founded TAPD Inc., which operated under the name Frank, to provide an online platform to simplify the process of filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, a federal government form used by students to apply for financial aid for college or graduate school, authorities said.

National News

A police officer shines his flashlight downward as he pauses on Hollywood Beach while investigating...

Associated Press

Florida police arrest man, search for 2 others in Memorial Day beach shooting

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — Police in Florida arrested one man Saturday and announced arrest warrants for two others believed to be the gunmen who opened fire along a crowded beachside promenade on Memorial Day, wounding nine people. The Hollywood Police Department said authorities arrested Jordan Burton and are searching for Ariel Cardahn Paul and Lionel […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

Alaska police find 3 bodies on vessel, cite controlled substances as possible contributing factor

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Three people in Juneau, Alaska, were found dead over the course of three days on board a vessel anchored offshore, police said Saturday. The Juneau Police Department said a 34-year-old woman reported on Wednesday that she found her 51-year-old friend dead on board the Dusky Rock. His body was sent to […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

Week after Iowa building collapse, Minnesota condo evacuated over stability concerns

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — Less than a week after an apartment building partially collapsed in Iowa, more than 140 people were evacuated from a condominium in Minnesota after a structural engineer expressed concerns about its stability. Officials in Rochester, Minnesota, ordered residents of the 15-story, 94-unit Rochester Towers Condominium to evacuate Friday afternoon, police said. […]

15 hours ago

FILE - Inmate Michael Tisius, sentenced to death in the killing of two jail officers, shows his tat...

Associated Press

Federal court reinstates death penalty order for Missouri inmate convicted of killing jailers

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal appeals court has vacated a stay of execution for a Missouri inmate who is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday for his role in the deaths of two jailers. Michael Tisius, 42, was sentenced to death after being convicted of killing Randolph County jailers Jason Acton and Leon Egley […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

Twitter executive responsible for content safety resigns after Elon Musk criticism

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A top Twitter executive responsible for safety and content moderation has left the company, her departure coming soon after owner Elon Musk publicly complained about the platform’s handling of posts about transgender topics. The departure pointed to a fresh wave of turmoil among key officials at Twitter since Musk took over […]

15 hours ago

FILE - A makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooti...

Associated Press

Connecticut governor poised to sign state’s most sweeping gun measure since post-Sandy Hook laws

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A slate of gun control measures was headed Saturday to Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk, after an all-night state Senate debate and early morning vote to approve the state’s most wide-ranging gun legislation since the laws that followed the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. Lamont, a Democrat, plans to sign the […]

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Founder of student aid startup Frank pleads not guilty to fraud