Unkindest Cut: Marines Sue Film School

Some of the first graduates of a local film-school program that trained military members on how to tell their stories and learn film production techniques are fighting again, but this time it's in a court room, according to a published report.

Some of the students attending the Wounded Marine Careers Foundation's 10-week program refused to "sign off on giving their vocational benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs," the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Their training was paid for through charitable donations. Eight of the students, however, OK'd the veteran's benefit payment of tuition because, they allege, they believed tuition was $10,000, an amount reportedly cited in a school brochure.

In the end, the VA coughed up more than $88,000 for each of the students, the paper reported. It's not clear what the cap is on re-training benefits provided by the VA.

"I feel betrayed by people who used our wartime sacrifices to make a pretty buck," Joshua Frey, who lost most use of his right shoulder because of a combat injury, told the paper. "They gave us false hope."

According to the paper, four students and a teacher allege that the school's directors also misled the program's participants about what kind of work they would be able to get after the program concluded.

The program was founded by Kevin Lombard and his wife, Judith Paixao. Paixao became emotional when discussing the suit, telling the paper that her motives about helping the injured veterans were "pure."

While Lombard conceded to the paper that the cost for the program was high, he maintained that the benefits of the program justified that expense, pointing out that 11 of the students found jobs of some sort.

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