A student of SHG Lyon School, Anaïs, filed a complaint last March for fraud and breach of trust against the founder and principal of this school. One hundred SHG Lyon students each paid €22,100 for two years of study, or just over €11,000 per year of training, but were unable to get their degrees.
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This is due to the administrative situation of the school, which was placed under compulsory liquidation in January 2022. The Nantes police station, where Anis filed a complaint, is still conducting investigations, according to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Nantes joined by franceinfo.
Created five years ago by a former principal of Switzerland’s famous Vatel school, this school, which specializes in the same type of training, operates normally at first, according to Anaïs. The school has headquarters in Lyon with classrooms and “In the beginning when we were talking face to face we had a teacher for each subject“Anais remembers. Everything changes during the second confinement, the end of October 2020.
Still according to this 24-year-old student’s account, remote courses are switched online. Nothing surprising so far, but suspicion arises when they see that one person is now teaching all the subjects: the headmaster himself. Only service providers, mostly based abroad, provide foreign language learning. When asked about this, the headmaster – who wishes to remain anonymous – to reply : “There is no law prohibiting giving courses, I have 20 years of experience in the hotel industry. Students are happy with the lessons you gave them“.
From there, the students, who are still far from each other, begin to exchange with each other on social networks, because everyone is wondering. Between them raises in particular a waste of time. “It was really superficial“evokes Anaïs for her part.
“We’ve always done the same thing, we haven’t really learned anything to become managers, we’ve been taken a lot for the kids”Anais, a student at SHG Lyon
The student tells what her classes looked like during the two years of the MBA (Master’s Equivalent). “It was truly a peculiar and special organization. All layers have been redone. We reviewed the things you learned in your bachelor’s degree. There was no added value“. In addition, according to the students’ account, students are shuffled by level, without specific teaching, depending on whether they are in the category of Bachelor’s (equivalent to license) or in MBA (equivalent to master’s). However, the Director, on his part, ensures that the courses “They are of very good quality, students do internships in 5 star luxury hotels, we are at the top level compared to other schools. Find a school that offers six months of lessons and six months of training, you won’t find any.”
For their part, by researching the school, students in February ended up discovering that SHG Lyon had been placed under compulsory liquidation since January 12, 2022, because the school was bankrupt. Which means, in the words of the judicial liquidator appointed by the Lyon Commercial Court, that “SHG Lyon is not authorized to continue its activity“. The students continue their exchange and decide to hold the principal accountable. The conversation was recorded by the students, and we were able to listen to it. In the recording, the manager mentioned unimportant administrative problems that would be quickly sorted out. A story the company leader carries again today. He also asserts that he was the one who called this meeting to warn them of the management problems faced by SHG Lyon. The director also noted that he has filed an appeal and is in the process of preparing his file, which will be examined on December 1.
“If we were really bastards, we would have closed Lyon School.”SHG Lyon Director
But last spring, students who already believed they had been defrauded by SHG Lyon are now asking questions about their training and certifications. After being asked by some of them, the judicial liquidator warned them in a letter dated April 13: “I remind you that, since January 12, 2022, the lack of activity has prevented the signing of training agreements and the issuance of diplomas.“. Above all, the judicial liquidator insists:in my knowldge (…) [le directeur] She continued (and still does) give lessons. It also appears that he is trying to recruit students for the upcoming school year.“.
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Thus, the director of SHG Lyon, suspected of preparing to start the school year at the expense of the students, while his company Lyon is no longer able to operate. He assures him that after the judicial liquidationStudents transferred to other SHG schools“ Thus they can continue their education and be in a period of training. This businessman also runs other SHG schools in several cities in France, including Paris and Nice, as well as in Europe: Barcelona and Lisbon. This from Geneva in Switzerland was put into compulsory liquidation in December 2020.
Until the end of the school year, access to the director of SHG Lyon becomes less and less, according to students as well as teachers of foreign languages, while the latter, who does not receive a salary, demand to pay their bills. Some have to wait up to six months before they can receive sums of up to 2,000 euros. “Students also took time to pay us, it’s the life of any company“, The school principal answers.
In the end, only one complaint, Anis’s complaint, was filed on March 10. According to the Nantes Public Prosecutor’s Office, she has since been treated by the Nantes police station, and the school principal confirms that the police have not yet heard from him. If the other students, some of whom were very enthusiastic at the start of work, have not finally followed through on Anais yet, it is because of attorney Helen Rego Michen”Even though they were wronged, they fear publicity and the impact on their training“. That’s why I hope for the complaint and the police investigation.”He will allow other students to break out of silence to denounce these facts“. For her part, Anis, the student who was the source of the complaint, has suspended her administrative training and is now a receptionist at a Parisian hotel on a permanent contract. Like the others, she had to take out a student loan of 30,000 euros to cover school fees.
“I was the one who chose the school and I feel bad now that my parents are helping me to get him back for a diploma I won’t get. It’s really the worst news you can get”
Following these discoveries, another student’s lawyer told France Info on Friday that civil proceedings were also underway against SHG, this time in relation to its Paris branch, since January. In this case, a hearing was held in Paris at the beginning of July, and the decision is scheduled for October 13. This student, who studied between 2019 and 2020 in an MBA at SHG in Paris, paid €12,500 in tuition fees but also deplored the combination of levels and internships that do not correspond to management.
His attorney, Beatrice Cohen, notified the school in 2020 before he was assigned to civil proceedings. The student requests compensation for his damages, and in particular the payment of his tuition fees: “Demands that the school be convicted of misconduct and compensation for its damages.as you say.