Updated:ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla.,None - Federal agents raided an Altamonte Springs school Wednesday. They're going through files and interviewing students at the Galiano Career Academy. Students told WFTV the investigation is about financial aid fraud.
Several computers were dismantled and WFTV learned that CEO Anthony Galiano was being questioned Wednesday afternoon.
Students gathered outside the Galiano Career Academy on Wednesday not knowing their future.
"They closing down the school? No seriously, oh Lord, what are we suppose to do? I want my money," student Stephanie Can said.
Federal agents wouldn't talk, but students who were questioned by them said they were quizzed on how much their tuition was, how much they received in student loans and how much of that money came back to them.
"They're not paying. They're keeping the money," Can said.
Can is like many of the students; she gets the Pell Grant and says, what ever money is left over after tuition is paid, she is supposed to get to cover books and living expenses. But agents think the school was pocketing that money.
"That was their words, 'We're going to keep the rest of the money,'" Can said.
The private school has roughly 150 students and 35 employees. Most degrees can be completed in 12 months. Students say they've paid anywhere from $9,000 to $20,000.
The school's website lists Anthony Galiano as the CEO, his son Michael as the president and Vickky Adams as the director of financial aid.
"Were you taking financial aid money?" WFTV reporter Liz Artz asked Adams.
"Get that out of my face," Adams replied.
Amy Johnson has borrowed $13,000 to pay for her 11-month education that she thought would get her a good job as a medical assistant. Tearfully, she told Eyewitness News her sister warned her about the school.
"She was afraid they were preying on the uneducated and the poor," Johnson said.
"How do you feel now?" Artz said.
"I feel like that's what they did," Johnson said.
WFTV checked and found the school, which has just one location, was involved in several civil suits, all of which were settled or dropped. The school, however, will be open Thursday.
Galiano describes itself as a private career academy. It offers specialized training programs for careers in medical, travel and business fields.
The school was originally founded in 1965 under a different name. It was renamed twice after that before taking the name Galiano Career Academy in 2002 when it opened in Altamonte Springs.