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Diasporian News of Wednesday, 17 December 2003

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Student pleads innocent in US Federal case

An Arkansas Tech University student pleaded innocent to federal fraud charges before Federal Magistrate J. Thomas Ray in Little Rock on Tuesday and is being detained in federal custody until his trial.

Anthony Adsete Dsane, 21, is accused of fraudulently using the personal information of another student to defraud a Massachusetts financial group out of $13,766 in federally funded and privately funded student loans. He is being detained without bond on a Federal order of detention after state charges were dropped by state officials.

Dsane is scheduled to receive a jury trial before U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. on Jan. 26. He is represented by Jennifer Horan, a Federal public defender.

A Federal grand jury returned an indictment against Dsane on Dec. 3, accusing him of six counts of mail fraud. The indictment came from Arkansas’ Eastern District of the U.S. District Court in Little Rock and was signed by Jana K. Harris, an assistant U.S. Attorney and the prosecutor in the case.

Dsane, a student from Ghana, was employed at the university’s library and allegedly used his position there to gain the student’s personal information, according to authorities. He was arrested by Tech police after he allegedly stole the identity of at least five people while working in the university’s library, according to court documents.

The Federal grand jury found Dsane mailed fraudulent loan applications to Nellie Mae, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SLM Corporation in Braintree, Mass., on Aug. 13 and Aug. 23 of 2002, and received a $5,000 check from Nellie Mae on Aug. 30, a $1,883 check on Sept. 3, along with a $5,000 check and a $1,883 check on Jan. 3 of this year.

The loan applications listed a co-applicant, who was unnamed in the indictment but was previously identified in other court documents as a Tech student who did not know his identity was being used to secure the loans. The loan applications included the other student’s social security number, place of employment and salary, according to the indictment.

Federal authorities contend the other student’s signature was forged and submitted without his permission and knowledge.

Dsane was arrested Oct. 29 by Tech police while attempting to receive copies of his transcripts and just after he notified other University officials he planned to check out of his on-campus residence and drop out of school, according to court documents.