HR News Update

Run-of-the-Mill Education

How many bogus documents can a single diploma mill sell? A lot. The Justice Department says a diploma mill in the state of Washington sold more than $6.2 million in fraudulent academic documents to more than 9,000 individuals.

A federal judge recently sentenced a man to 36 months in federal prison for his role in conducting a worldwide diploma mill that operated out of the Spokane area. Prosecutors said he operated the diploma mill with his wife and six others.

The Justice Department alleged that from August 1999 to August 2005, the group operated an Internet-based diploma business selling false and fraudulent academic products. The products included high school degrees, college and graduate-level degrees (e.g., Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Sciences, Master of Arts, Master of Sciences, and Doctor of Philosophy), fabricated academic transcripts, and "professorships."

Prosecutors said the group created numerous fictitious academic institutions, including:

Saint Regis University ; James Monroe University ; Robertstown University ; Holy Acclaim University ; Ameritech University ; Fort Young University ; Pan America University ; All Saints American University; American Capital University ; Blackstone University ; Capital America University ; Hampton Bay University; Hartland University; Intech University; Nation State University; New Manhattan University and Graduate Institute; North United University; Port Rhode University; St. Lourdes University; Saint Renoir University; Stanley State Graduate University; Van Ives University; West American University; International MBA Institute.

They also sold counterfeit diplomas and academic products purporting to be from legitimate academic institutions, such as the University of Maryland , George Washington University , Missouri University, and Texas A&M University, prosecutors said.

Who bought the bogus degrees? The Spokesman Review obtained and published a list of the buyers of the documents. The buyers included some who used email addresses with extensions of .mil (130), .gov (17) or .edu (39), the newspaper reported.


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