Written By Thomas Ahearn
A Connecticut man is accused of running so-called “diploma mills” since as early as 2003 that sold $5 million worth of false college degrees around the world. A full report about the suspected diploma mills is available on the NBC Connecticut website at http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/cromwell-diploma-fraud-fake-education-degree-charges-255589041.html. (UPDATE: Connecticut Man Accused of Operating Diploma Mill Pleads Guilty.)
According to the NBC Connecticut report, the U.S. Attorney’s Office suspects, James Enowitch, 48, “put together an elaborate scheme that allowed thousands of people across the globe to get false college degrees without actually going to school.” The suspect and an accomplice allegedly created several diploma mill websites where people could buy fake degrees for between $475 and $550.
NBC Connecticut reports Enowitch is also “accused of making up a fake organization called the National Distance Learning Accreditation Council to put the stamp of approval on the diplomas so they looked legitimate.” He also allegedly “created a fake verification service in case employers probed the buyer’s background.” The suspect – who told NBC Connecticut the charges were “a misunderstanding” – faces federal fraud charges and if convicted could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Diploma Mills & Education Verifications
Diploma mills create a danger to employers since educational achievements can tell a great deal about a job applicant’s ability, qualifications, and motivation. Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), suggests employers check the education credentials of all job applicants to ensure they have obtained degrees from legitimate educational institutions. A article he wrote on the topic titled ‘The Basics of Education Verifications’ is available at: http://www.esrcheck.com/Articles/The-Basics-of-Education-Verifications/188/.