D.O.J. charges Pakistani executive in $140 million fake diploma scheme

release by the Department of Justice, the executive of a Pakistani software company – Axact – has been charged for his part in an alleged $140 million “fake-diploma mill” scheme. The complaint alleges that Umair Hamid, 30, and his co-conspirators made false and fraudulent representations to consumers on diploma mill websites and over the phone to trick them into enrolling in purported colleges and high schools, and issued fake diplomas upon receipt of upfront fees from consumers. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “As alleged, while promising the rewards of a higher education, Umair Hamid was actually just peddling diplomas and certifications from fake schools.  Hamid allegedly took hefty upfront fees from young men and women seeking an education, leaving them with little more than useless pieces of paper.” In or about May 2015, Axact was shut down by Pakistani law enforcement, and certain individuals associated with Axact were prosecuted in Pakistan.  Nevertheless, after May 2015, Hamid resumed his fraudulent business of selling fake diplomas to consumers in the United States for upfront fees based upon false and fraudulent representations. Read more about the complaint directly on the DOJ website. As reported several times on this blog before, he diploma mill problem is a significant one. A 2011 report from Verifile Accredibase defined diploma mill providers as “mostly online entities that offer substandard or bogus degrees in exchange for payment and not much else” and suggested a 20% year-over-year growth of mills in the US. This complaint emphasizes the need to include education verification as a core component of your background screening investigations. Do you?]]>

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