Wright told the station that the Education Department was after unpaid federal loans owed by his ex-wife. "They busted my door for this," Wright says. The claim has been repeated by numerous news outlets who picked up the story, including Fox News, The Huffington Post, and Gawker. (UPDATE: The station has replaced the story with a newer version that does not make the claim the raid was for late loan payments.)
But Education Department Press Secretary Justin Hamilton said in a statement to The Lookout that the department "does not execute search warrants for late loan payments." He said the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) "conducts about 30-35 search warrants a year on issues such as bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds." Hamilton said the department cannot comment on this particular case until the investigation is over, but did add that the claim the warrant was executed for late loan payment is untrue. The raid was related to a criminal investigation of Wright's wife.
The OIG lists some of its recent investigations on its website, including the case of a Boston man who was sent to prison last month for lying on a federal student aid form.
About 8.9 percent of all federal loan recipients (about 330,000 people) defaulted between 2008 and 2010, the highest percentage in more than a decade. Unlike students who have some types of private student loans, borrowers with federal loans can't declare bankruptcy as a way to get out of repayment, no matter how dire their financial situation.
Still, Wright was not the subject of the agency's investigation, and he is demanding an apology for being treated like a criminal in his own home. He animatedly explains in this video that he was handcuffed while still in his underwear and was made to wait in a police car for several hours with his three young children while the 15 law enforcement officers searched his house.
The Stockton police said the raid was not initiated by them, but by the Department of Education. The Department of Education says it did not execute the search warrant, but it might have been another government department, the Office of the Inspector General. The OIG website says it does investigate cases of "lying on a student aid form." The Education Department, which does not deny any of Kenneth Wright's story, says the raid was related to a criminal investigation of Wright's wife.
All I can say is "Wow!" That woman must be a serial murderer and terrorist who has blown up multiple buildings killing dozens - in between having 3 children that is.
The burning question though, is where was the SWAT team when a congressman lied aggressively and impudently to reporter after reporter last week denying that he has an internet sex problem? Probably out raiding the former homes of people who falsified a student loan application and treating innocent family members like criminals, I guess.
But still, why do you get handcuffed in your underwear for six hours just because your estranged wife lied on her student aid application? And then let go? I don't suppose any government agency would care to comment on that?