Alleged Diploma Mill that Made $11 Million Halted by FTC

Diploma Mill Blogs

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A U.S. district court in Florida has at the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) temporarily halted a diploma mill that allegedly made $11 million from selling fake high school diplomas online to consumers nationwide. The FTC press release about the diploma mill is at http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/09/ftc-action-halts-online-high-school-diploma-mill-made-11-million.

The FTC press release reports that a temporary restraining order was imposed to halt business operations of Diversified Educational Resources, LLC (DER) and Motivational Management & Development Services, Ltd. (MMDS) and freeze their assets. The temporary restraining order against the alleged diploma mill is at http://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/140918tro.pdf.

The FTC complaint against DER and MMDS seeks a permanent injunction to stop deceptive practices and return money to consumers. The FTC alleges the diploma mill violated the FTC Act by misrepresenting that the diplomas were valid high school equivalency credentials. The complaint also claims the schools were accredited by a fabricated accrediting body to give legitimacy to the diploma mill operation.

The FTC complaint claims DER and MMDS sold online high school diplomas since 2006 using multiple names. The complaint also claims the alleged diploma mill charged students between $200 and $300 for a diploma and the defendants have taken in more than $11,117,800 since January 2009. The FTC complaint is at http://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/cases/140918jeffersonhscmpt.pdf.

“A high school diploma is necessary for entry into college, the military, and many jobs,” Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated in the press release. “These defendants took students’ money but only provided a worthless credential that won’t help their future plans.” Students can learn about the diploma mill problem in the FTC blog: These online high schools didn’t make the grade.

A diploma mill is usually only available online, lacks recognized accreditation, and offers degrees in a short time. To combat the diploma mill problem in the U.S., schools are accredited by organizations recognized as legitimate by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The U.S. Department of Education also has a Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

“A diploma mill creates a danger to employers since educational achievements can tell a great deal about a job applicant’s ability, qualifications, and motivation,” says Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) and author of The Safe Hiring Manual. Rosen has written an article on how to fight the diploma mill problem titled The Basics of Education Verifications.

More Diploma Mill Information from ESR

For more ESR News blogs about the diploma mill problem, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/tag/diploma-mills/.