guaranteed the First National Bank of Harlingen that she or the federal treasury would pay her tuition bill. Once she was enrolled, Zuniga found that the instruction given in her typing and adding machine classes would be strictly from books. Zuniga explained to the court that she didn’t ask for help from her teachers because, “I saw the other students asking questions and they [the teachers] got angry.” After about six weeks, Zuniga decided to quit because “I thought I wasn’t learning nothing . . . so I thought I’d leave the place for someone else.” In addition, she found it difficult to attend school at night after working in the fields of Cameron County all day. Much later, she was contacted by First National. The bank informed her that she owned $452 for her tuition. That was news to Zuniga, and she didn’t pay. Some time after that, she began to receive letters from HEW. At first she ignored the federal demands for payment, but “the last one, I answer it back. . . . I explained I couldn’t pay.” Apparently the federal government has given up on its efforts to collect from Juanita Zuniga. She testified she has not heard from HEW since the fall of 1975 and has not been forced to repay the loan. \(She has neither seen nor heard from the salesman who offered her a free education since the day she signed his No computers Others have been less fortunate in their dealings with HEW. Alicia Benow 22, dropped out of Del Mar College, where she was enrolled in computer programming courses, after a saleswoman named “Peggy” told her she could save time and money by attending South Texas Commercial College instead. Benavides was bored by the adding machine class at Wehling’s Corpus Christi school. She testified that she fmished all the adding and subtracting problems before the rest of her classmates, and besides, she thought she had signed up for computer programming. After about a week, Benavides went to the school’s main office to see what was going on. “I asked this man in the office to show me the computer room . . . he said ‘we don’t have computers’ . . . so I dropped out.” When she told school officials she was quitting, the man in the office requested $12.50 for books, which she paid. She then left the school, thinking her troubles with South Texas Commercial were ended. Later, the letters from Dallas seat of the regional headquarters for HEW started to arrive. Benavides ignored the 14 The Texas Observer payment demands until she received one which said “if I didn’t pay by the 31st [of that month] the sheriff would come.” Faced with this threat, Benavides wrote to the collectors saying she could pay only $10 a month. So far, she has paid $180 for her two weeks of business school. At present, eight former employees of the Dallas HEW office and its private collection agency have been found guilty of crimes ranging from extortion to bribery and embezzlement of government funds. More indictments are expected shortly, but for Benavides the harassment continues. Only three weeks before the trial she received a phone call 0 O Pete Gonzalez: paying $1,500 per hour from someone in Dallas presumably an HEW employee demanding that she pay $900 on her student loan. Benavides, who started out to be a computer programmer, is now a nurse’s aide in a Corpus Christi hospital. Pete Gonzalez of Victoria remembers how the local banker laughed when he explained that he never attended Carl Wehling’s Victoria Commercial College. The 22-year-old house painter testified that a salesman signed him up for business courses in 1971 and promised, “if you don’t like it, we’ll just tear up the [loan] papers.” After spending about an hour at the school, Gonzalez told the court, he decided that his ninth-grade education was insufficient preparation for the courses he had agreed to take. Gonzalez was told he had received a loan from the school for his education, so he thought he was in the clear when he told the salesman he’d decided not to attend. But strange things started happening. Gonzalez began receiving statements from a Victoria bank where he had no account. The first one showed that $100 was deposited in his name. The second reported his account stood at $93 and the third read $73, Gonzalez testified, though he had made no deposits or withdrawals. When he contacted the bank, Gonzalez was informed that the money was for his Victoria Commercial College textbooks. The painter said he told the bank he was not a student and the “bookkeeper said she’d take care of it.” What the bank did is unknown, but Gonzalez, like most of the other students who testified, eventually received a dun from HEW. “I got really nervous and scared,” Gonzalez said, so he decided to talk with the bank’s president. When he did, the banker started laughing. “He says there’s been others in this town with the same problem.” During a recess of the trial, Gonzalez said the banker estimated that at least 80 other Victoria students were facing similar problems. Gonzalez is still being harassed by HEW for $1,500. Pretty high tuition for a one-hour course. The marble technique What was Carl Wehling up to all this time? He was acquiring more schools and transferring funds between the various corporations he set up to operate them. According to a deposition by his own CPA, Stephen Lloyd, and the state’s CPA, David Levi, Wehling acquired schools in Victoria, San Angelo, McAllen, Harlingen, Brownsville, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Houston, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene and Beaumont between 1971 and 1974. Fred Bean, who thought he owned 20 percent of the Victoria school until he was fired by Wehling, testified that Wehling was proud of his background as a trainer of insurance agents and tried to put his experience to use in the trade school business. At an orientation session for school agents, Bean said, Wehling demonstrated the “marble technique” used by some insurance salesmen. As Bean explained it, each salesman keeps five or more marbles in his right pocket. “You move a marble from one pocket to the other every time you talk to somebody about school,” Bean said. When all the marbles have been transferred from one pocket to the other, the salesman could consider he’d done a day’s work and go home. But a lot more than marbles were being transferred. And there were numerous pockets, in the form of bank accounts, for federal money. Janice Simon, who attended McAllen Business College for a short time before going to work in the school’s main office, saw where the money went. Some $98,000 in federal grant money sent to the school for dispersal to needy students for food and transportation was sent instead to one of Wehling’s corporations in San Antonio. None of the money was ever returned for student use, Simon said. Simon, now 26, also noted that her salary check had a habit of bouncing.