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Indiana sues Indianapolis-based test-preparation company

June 20, 2015

Indiana's attorney general is suing a Indianapolis-based college test-preparation company, alleging it engaged in "unfair and abusive practices" when selling study materials for college equivalency exams.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller's complaint alleges The College Network made personal loans for customers at high interest rates with payments beginning immediately, but that relatively few people actually complete its program and earn a college degree.

Indiana's lawsuit follows a similar suit filed by New York's attorney general earlier this month that alleges up to 2,000 New Yorkers were duped by The College Network. The suit also named owner and CEO Gary Eyler.

Indiana has received 492 written complaints against the Indianapolis-based company since 2011, The Indianapolis Star reported.

The state's lawsuit says The College Network isn't a school, but tries to give customers that impression. Zoeller alleges the company does not make it clear that students still must "apply, be admitted, take classes, and graduate from an actual college or university to obtain a degree."

Indiana is seeking the cancellation of the company's "unlawful contracts," restitution for customers and civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation.

The lawsuit cites numerous alleged violations in the contract used by the company to extend credit to customers.

"This deceit is unconscionable, and has left hundreds of Hoosiers in debt with nothing to show for it," Zoeller said in a written statement.

The College Network's headquarters is at 3815 River Crossing Parkway on the city's north side. The company was founded by Eyler in 1995.

The College Network said in a statement that it "will vigorously defend against what it considers to be unfair piling on with repetitive allegations which have no merit."

"We are proud of our legacy. For more than 20 years, we have helped over 200,000 people pursue their educational goals," the company said.

The company also has denied the allegations in New York's lawsuit.

New York's complaint also names a collection agency owned by Eyler and a credit union that provided personal loans to the company's customers.

Eyler is no stranger to legal troubles with the government. In the late 1980s, he and his former company, Carmel-based truck-driving school Continental Training Services Inc., were sued by the federal government for civil fraud. Continental operated Superior Training Services, the largest-truck driving school in the country at the time.

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