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April 2, 2004

Iowa Asks Court to Shut Down "California Alternative High School"

A. G. asks Court to block "school" unless it complies with consumer fraud investigation.

State says Council Bluffs program targeted lower-income Latino immigrants with deceptive representations that it provides h.s. degree qualifying students for college.

DES MOINES.   The Iowa Attorney General's Office has asked a court to prohibit all business in Iowa by a purported adult education program that operated in Council Bluffs, unless the program cooperates with a state consumer fraud investigation of allegations of deception and misrepresentation.

In a court action filed today in Des Moines, the State Consumer Protection Division said "California Alternative High School" has failed to comply with a subpoena. The subpoena seeks information to determine if the private corporation engaged in deception by representing that completion of its program would be equivalent to a high school diploma or GED general equivalency degree -- and would qualify consumers for acceptance at colleges and universities. The program reportedly cost about $600 for ten weeks of classes, three hours per week.

The action asked the Polk County District Court to prohibit "California Alternative High School" and its "Principal," A.D. Gossai from any further advertising or sales in Iowa if they fail to comply with the subpoena. The program appears to have stopped activity in Iowa, but the action seeks a formal court order shutting down the purported school unless it complies with the consumer fraud investigation. The subpoena seeks names of those who paid for classes, and other things.

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California Alternative High School is a California corporation that has been active in the Omaha and Council Bluffs areas. The Iowa Consumer Protection Division told the Court it appeared that the company tended to target lower-income Latino and immigrant populations with representations of college admission upon completion. The filing said it appeared the company's representations "were deceptive, due to the fact that it appeared that few if any colleges or universities would admit students based upon graduation" from California Alternative High School's unaccredited educational program.

The State's subpoena seeks documents and information about the company's claims that its graduates have been admitted at accredited colleges and universities - and especially a list of all individuals who have paid for classes in Iowa.

California Alternative High School "Principal" Daniel A. D. Gossai is a California resident.

California Alternative High School also operated in Omaha. The Nebraska Attorney General sued Gossai and the business, and Douglas County District Court Judge J. Patrick Mullen issued a temporary injunction in January prohibiting "California Alternative High School" from offering high school diplomas in Nebraska.


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