A South Jersey native and diving school CEO was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison in a plea bargain that was reached and confirmed yesterday.

Tamara Brown, 58, of Haddon Heights, New Jersey was accused and has now pled guilty to submitting false information in order to keep her Divers Academy International accredited which is required to obtain certain federal funding.

The Divers Academy International is located near Philadelphia, according U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said.

“As a for-profit institution, the diving school required accreditation to be eligible to receive tuition funds from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Sellinger.

Brown pled guilty to illegally receiving more than $1 million to keep her diving school accredited.

Brown bought her business in 2006 and renamed it Divers Academy International, according to the company website.

According to her business website, www.diversacademy.edu, Brown purchased a 40-acre property in Erial, Sicklerville New Jersey, located just north of Atlantic City.

Brown claims to have purchased this property to create a state-of-the-art training and educational diving facility.

Brown is a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Her parents were famous before her in the diving community.

Sellinger credited the efforts of the following for the investigation, which led to a successful plea and sentence being achieved:

  • FBI’s South Jersey Resident Agency in Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia Resident Agency of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General
  • Northeast Field Office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Vondra Carrig of his Camden, New Jersey office.

United States District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez also gave Brown three years of supervised release; fined her $50,000 and ordered Brown to make full restitution of $1.1 million.

SOURCES: U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger & Divers Academy International.

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