Feds: Man ran $5 million fake-diploma mill

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by AV8R, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. AV8R

    AV8R Active Member

  2. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The guy has been selling fake diplomas since 2003, and has only made $5,000,000 ?
    That's only like five hundred thousand per year -- which is hardly "lucrative" by diploma mill industry standards. It's peanuts.

    The market leader, Salem Kureshi of Pakistan, has estimated earnings of over $70,000,000 -- per year. In 2012, he lost a class action lawsuit in a US court and was ordered to pay $22,700,000, just for his sales to American students. I suspect, however, that it has not been collected.

    In 2005, Allen Ezell and John Bear published a book called: "Degree Mills: The Billion-dollar Industry That Has Sold Over A Million Fake Diplomas". A few hundred thousand dollars, or even a few million, is trivial in a billion-dollar industry.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2014
  3. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor New Member

    Wow. I never would have suspected that kind of earning potential. Guess it's time to start a diploma mill!

  4. rook901

    rook901 New Member

    Only $500,000 a year? Is that all?

    A two-person operation -- okay, three person after the cease and desist -- with almost no overhead, making $500,000 a year. That's peanuts? I'll take a peanuts-paying job, please. It's interesting that they were only able to get him on mail fraud. Still, not worth the trip to the federal pen.
  5. RAM PhD

    RAM PhD Member

    But think of all the happy campers who can now enhance their CV or resume.

    John Doe, PhD (Suffield University) :biggrin:

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    He is a scam; however, the problem is not from him. The program is from those who have intention to use diploma mills. Just like the US Government blames on Mexican drug cartel , but they never blame on American drug users. In the same token that people blame on guns, but not the one using them for massacre.
  7. perrymk

    perrymk Member

    Just an off the wall related quesiton. If a person is going to use a diploma mill, why not just print the diploma yourself? Why pay someone to do it? I'm sure templates for all kinds of diplomas are available online. Is something extra offered? Transcripts? verification? Accreditation?
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Or, as you inadvertently point out, blaming drug users rather than drug prohibition?
  9. PilgrimPastor

    PilgrimPastor New Member

    In one personal example, I know a man who was leaving the Army who planned to use a diploma, thinking it was legit. He was insufferably unwilling to be talked out of it. He was so convinced of the value of his military experience that he bought into the idea that he could pay 5k and get his life experience evaluated to the tune of a BA without out taking one course or writing one paper.

    A lot of people buying these degrees don't understand, and in some cases refuse to learn, the difference between legit degrees and mills. A lot of employers don't know the difference either. Especially non corporate, non government. Don't underestimate how much pride plays a part .
  10. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." -- Proverbs 16:18

    The sad thing is that if properly evaluated, enlisted military experience can get one a significant part of the way toward a real Bachelor's degree.
  11. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes. The mill becomes your "wingman," lying on your behalf so you can succeed in your fraud.
  12. skidadl

    skidadl Member

    We should legalize fake degrees, tax them and then use the tax money to rehabilitate those with fake degrees.

    Think of the job opportunities!
  13. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    The guy in the article was charged with mail fraud, not diploma fraud.

    I'm wondering what exactly constituted the fraud. Was it the "degrees" or claiming to be accredited or both? Was is listing real institutions on his fake accrediting body website?

    Does the US Dept of Education have to recognize all institutions before they can grant degrees?

    Minnesota says you must register and gain approval to grant degrees or to use "academy", "college", "institute" or "university" in your name.

    What about a ... "Bachelor's Diploma" from the John Doe Business "Institution"

    Degree-Granting Institutional Registration
  14. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    Do you mean Sullied University?
  15. FJD

    FJD Member

    My guess, based on experience in bringing these types of charges against fraudsters (in a different context), is that the "fraud" in this case refers to the "school" allegedly offering what it claimed was a legitimate product (these alleged mills always "play it straight") to consumers that was in fact worthless. In effect, the "school" allegedly tricked its consumers. Now, we know that some customers are "in on it" to varying degrees, but the focus is on the "school" and its false claims. The "mail" part means that the "school" allegedly used an interstate mail service (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.) to facilitate the fraud scheme. Mail fraud is often charged because it's relatively easy to prove and there is often no Title 18 crime specific enough, such as "diploma fraud." I haven't read any of the actual documents in this case, so this is only an educated guess.

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