Computer school out of business, keeps money

October 1, 2012 8:18:42 PM PDT
For nearly a decade, the McNeil Institute in Rahway New Jersey trained students for computer careers.

But a few months ago, the school suddenly closed, the owner disappeared leaving unemployed students with who had paid thousands in tuition without the training they had hoped would lead to jobs.

"Do you know where he is?" Eyewitness News investigative reporter Jim Hoffer asked.

"I have no clue," said Christopher McNutt, a student.

"Do you know where your money is?" Hoffer asked.

"I wish I did," McNutt said.

Christopher McNutt paid $6,000 tuition and never got a minute of training.

Student Jonnie Muniz is out $2,500.

"He hasn't returned any of my calls, none of my texts have been returned and I think he just closed shop and left with our money," Muniz said.

"What is my possibility of getting a job if I don't have that training?" said Teo Encarnacion, a student.

Unemployed Army veteran, Teo Encarnacion used a $10,000 stipend from Veterans Administration for a 39-week course at McNeil Institute.

The money and his hope of getting certified as a computer engineer disappeared, along with the school's owner.

"I really need that class. If he can't give me that class, give me my money back so I can go to another school," Encarnacion said.

"The school shut down?" Hoffer asked.

"Yeah, it shutdown," said David Holder, Computer school operator.

"How come?" Hoffer asked.

"I don't know, they ran out of money," Holder said.

David Holder is the owner and operator of McNeil Institute, and Eyewitness News tracked him down in Brooklyn.

"Could you get it out of my face please?" Holder said.

"No, because we want to ask you some questions. Why did you continue to take tuition?" Hoffer asked.

"We will deal with through the court system," Holder said.

"I can't afford to hire an attorney to go after him. There's nothing I can do. I'm pretty much out in the cold here," McNutt said.

The State Department of Labor which has oversight of computer schools says a sudden closing like this is extremely rare.

A spokesman says they are investigating whether to fine the school, which at the time of its closing, had been operating without a license.

"You knew the school was in financial trouble because you never renewed your license in November," Hoffer said.

"Yeah," Holder said.

"But you still kept taking tuition money," Hoffer said.

"We will deal with it through the court system," Holder said.


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