The $4 million Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Association, Providence, has formed a committee to investigate if any wrongdoing has occurred in the administration of the state's higher education savings plan.
The administrator of the Rhode Island fund, Collegiate Capital Inc. in New York, also administered the higher education savings plan in Connecticut, but was fired by Connecticut Treasurer Denise Nappier in October.
Collegiate Capital President Christopher Stack is a cooperating witness in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney that already has resulted in former Connecticut Treasurer Paul Silvester pleading guilty to several counts of bribery, racketeering and money laundering.
Although it has not been accused of any wrongdoing, Collegiate was fired by Ms. Nappier because of concerns about the firm's ability to handle the administration of the program and manage its growth.
Mr. Stack has admitted to participating in a scheme in which he kicked back to Mr. Silvester sales commissions he earned as a third-party marketer for some private equity firms that received investment from the $18 billion State of Connecticut Trust Funds. Mr. Stack's attorney said his client approached the U.S. Attorney about the illegal payments and is not being prosecuted.
"We have done a preliminary review of the managers and vendors related to that program, and all have assured us that the money is there and that it is secure," said Jennifer Bramley, a treasury spokeswoman.