Florida Flight School Closes, State Investigating

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TAB Express International, a flight school in Deland, Fla., abruptly closed down on June 15, putting 49 employees out of work and stranding 80 students, some of whom had paid up to $100,000 each in up-front tuition. The school blamed the shutdown on an abrupt cutoff of financing from Key Bank in Ohio, which had been lending money to the students. State Attorney General Charlie Crist said his office would investigate to determine if any fraud had occurred. "The flight school said it had an airline and that if students flew for it for two years their loans would be repaid, but they didn't have an airline," a spokeswoman for the attorney general told AOPA. TAB Express owner Robert Adamo told WESH News that the school was "that close to making this all be a reality" when Key Bank cut off funds. The school is suing the bank. "The school is committed to each student to take whatever measures the school can do, so as to complete their training," TAB Express attorney Tim Fiedler told WESH. Executives with TAB Express said they have broken no laws and have no reason to fear a state investigation.