Bridgepoint Education, the parent company of Ashford University, announced in a corporate filing last week that it has received a second subpoena related to investigations by the California attorney general's office and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking documents and information related to the Bridgepoint's scholarship and institutional loan programs and other extensions of credit made by Bridgepoint to students, as well as enrollment and retention details.
Bridgepoint last August received a "civil investigative demand" from the CFPB to determine whether the for-profit chain engaged in "unlawful acts or practices related to the advertising, marketing or origination of private student loans," according to a corporate filing. That filing said that, as of June 30, the company had $9.1 million of net outstanding loans made to students.
It marked the third time the CFPB has pursued a for-profit company for its lending practices. In recent years, the agency filed separate lawsuits against ITT Educational Services and Corinthian Colleges.
The CFPB in 2014 sued ITT alleging that the school pressured students into predatory loans, coerced them to continue taking classes by making their credits nontransferable to nonprofit institutions and mislead students on future job prospects. That same year, the New Mexico Attorney General's Office also filed suit.
Last year, the SEC charged ITT, its CEO Kevin Modany and its chief financial officer Daniel Fitzpatrick with fraud.
Last October, a federal judge in Illinois ruled that Corinthian must pay $531 million in damages to former students for misleading them about their career prospects and engaging in other deceptive practices.
Corinthian, which once operated more than 120 schools with more than 110,000 students across North America under the Everest, Wyotech and Heald brands, filed for bankruptcy in May 2015 in the largest failure of a college chain in U.S. history.