- Jan 2011
Diploma mills are big business, conferring bogus credentials on thousands in education, tech, the military, medicine and more
Diploma mills have been around for more than 700 years, and things are worse now than they've ever been," said John Bear, co-author of "Degree Mills: The Billion-Dollar Industry That Has Sold Over a Million Fake Diplomas." He added: "Just two of the sellers -- Axact from Pakistan and University Degree Program (UDP) run by an American in Romania -- have
accounted for many hundreds of thousands of sales to Americans, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. More than half of all new PhDs in the U.S. each year are fake."
There's little reason to doubt that sales of degrees have only become even more prevalent since a federal probe executed from 1989 to 1991. It was dubbed "DIPSCAM" for "Diploma Scam," and resulted in the dismantling of 40 phony schools, 19 federal grand jury indictments, 20 convictions and the purchase of 40 diplomas and transcripts.
"Our best guestimate is there are 5,000 diploma mills at any one time, and probably the same number of fake accrediting agencies," said Allen Ezell, a 31-year FBI veteran who helped run DIPSCAM.
Federal agents identified 12,500 graduates of the 40 fake schools, and those who had purchased bogus degrees included "federal, state and county employees," Ezell (Bear's co-author) told CBS MoneyWatch. "Graduates were employed in business, education, law enforcement, military and in the medical field
I knew there were fake degrees out there, but I never suspected it was this massive....