Former Department of Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner revealed yesterday (Nov. 16) that he will become president and managing director of Wall Street's Warburg Pincus LLC, a private equity firm. He will report directly to the co-chief executive officers of the firm.
Warburg is the firm that originally financed San Diego's highly controversial Bridgepoint Education, a for-profit education firm that has been under investigation for years. Warburg still owns 63.38 percent of Bridgepoint.
In 2008, the Department of Education concluded that Bridgepoint's Ashford University, by far the largest organization in the company, rewarded student recruiters based on their enrollment success, improperly retained money that should have been returned, and took too long to return money to students who withdrew.
The Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in 2012 found that 63 percent of students who enrolled in 2008-2009 four-year programs withdrew, and 84.4 percent of those in two-year programs withdrew.
The company gets more than 85 percent of its revenue from federal loans and grants. Sen. Tom Harkin, head of the committee, called Bridgepoint "an absolute scam."
Bridgepoint's most recent quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that, among many things, attorneys general of Iowa, New York, North Carolina, and California are investigating the company for possible violations of various consumer and education-related laws.