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Virginia attorney general sues Jumpstart University, Vasilios Education Center for defrauding tenants

Posted at 1:24 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 13:25:50-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Attorney General Mark Herring has filed a lawsuit against Jumpstart University and the Vasilios Education Center, which are both run by Carl Vaughan. The non-profits are accused of defrauding tenants.

WTVR CBS 6 first reported on Vaughan and his businesses in October of 2019 when three women said they were attracted to Jumpstart University because the organization’s housing program was designed for people with a history of bad credit.

RELATED: Tenants, attorneys take issue with housing program run by Richmond nonprofit

However, they said they were almost evicted after being accused of falling behind on payments, which they claim was not true.

And two attorneys with the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society later told us they found troubling civil violations of landlord tenant laws in each Jumpstart University case they have reviewed.

Vaughan defended his organizations in January of 2020 and said they had helped hundreds of people find housing and that evicting a tenant was the last thing he wanted to do.

“When a landlord takes advantage of their tenants, especially when those tenants are low-income or even homeless, they must be held accountable for the harm they have caused,” Herring said in a statement. “Vaughan allegedly used his companies to take advantage of Virginians who were in tough financial situations – selling them a bill of goods that he would never be able to fulfill.”

The attorney general said he is seeking restitution on behalf of consumers, civil penalties and attorneys’ fees.

He is also asking the judge to enjoin Jumpstart University, the Vasilios Education Center and Carl Vaughan from further violating the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

The lawsuit was filed in Richmond Circuit Court.

WTVR CBS 6 has reached out to Vaughan for comment and we will update this story when we hear back.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.