Tag Archives: Academic Fraud

Yahoo Background Check Language Changed in Offer Letter to Newly Hired CEO Mayer

Sunnyvale, California-based internet corporation Yahoo! has changed the language concerning background checks in its offer letter to newly hired CEO Marissa Mayer from what the company previously used in an offer letter to former CEO Scott Thompson, according to a blog on the Wall Street Journal website ‘Yahoo Tweaks Background Check Language for Mayer.’ Thompson left the company in May 2012 after a discrepancy in his academic credentials was publicly revealed. Continue reading

Yahoo CEO Leaves Company after Discrepancy in Academic Credentials Revealed

On May 13, 2012, Yahoo! Inc. announced that Scott Thompson, the recently hired Chief Executive Officer who was revealed to have a discrepancy in his academic credentials included in online biographies and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, has left the company, and that the Board of Directors has named Ross Levinsohn as interim CEO to manage the day-to-day operations, effective immediately. The full text of the press release is available here: ‘Yahoo! Names Fred Amoroso Chairman and Appoints Ross Levinsohn Interim CEO’. Continue reading

Routine Background Check Uncovers Fake Doctor in Michigan

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President & Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Editor

An article titled ‘Fake Michigan doctor had hospitals fooled’ by the Detroit Free Press shows why employers should run background checks that include education and credential verifications on medical professionals to ensure they are licensed after a 15-year charade in which a man passed himself off as a doctor ended with a routine background check.

A 58-year-old “doctor and PhD researcher” in Michigan who lined up millions of dollars in research grants and consulting fees directing simulated medical exercises to train hospital staffers resigned after being uncovered as a fraud when calls to the University of Wisconsin confirmed the man had simulated a few facts about himself, the Free Press reports.

The ruse had hospital administrators wondering how a person with no medical or doctoral degree could have fooled some of the best in medicine for so long. After billing himself as a doctor, researcher, and certified pilot – with only the latter being true – the falsifications were revealed during a routine background check on a federal grant application.

The Free Press reports that for some reason the phony doctor’s résumé with false references was not vetted by either medical administration or human resources departments at the hospital, and the embarrassing episode has prompted tighter scrutiny of applications. Fortunately, the fake doctor never treated patients and did not apply for physician admitting privileges.

A medical ethicist at Michigan State University quoted in the article said the case shows that medical and academic institutions should follow the rules that should in place to catch possible falsifications. “Always check credentials. There’s just no excuse for not checking credentials. It’s kind of a no-brainer.”

This story – and other such stories about phony professionals falsifying employment histories or education credentials – shows the need for employers to run background checks on all professionals since they cannot simply assume they are licensed.

As reported earlier on ESR News, education and credential falsification is a surprisingly common occurrence, and a rapidly growing problem, as evidenced by the following stories:

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading provider of background checks accredited by the National Association of Background Screeners (NAPBS) – offers background screening that include verifications of credentials and education. ESR has extensive procedures to ensure that any school is legitimate and not a so-called “diploma mill” (also known as a “degree mill”), an organization that awards academic degrees and diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without recognition by official educational accrediting bodies. The terms “diploma mill” and “degree mill” may apply to:

  • A “real” degree from a fake college.
  • A fake degree from a real college.

ESR also has a wealth of material on the subject of academic fraud including an article by ESR’s founder and President Lester Rosen, “The Basics of Educational Verifications” at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/1090/the-basics-of-education-verifications. In addition, the Additional Links page in the ESR Resource Center contains information on states with lists of fraudulent schools as well as how to find real accredited schools at: http://www.esrcheck.com/services/resources.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). ESR was the third U.S. background check firm to be ‘Safe Harbor’ Certified for data privacy protection. To learn more about ESR’s Leadership, Resources, and Solutions, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.freep.com/article/20101214/NEWS06/12140350/1318/-Fake-doc-had-hospitals-fooled

Background Checks Help Avoid Fraudulent Academic Claims

By Lester Rosen, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) President & Thomas Ahearn, ESR News Editor

An interesting story about an alleged fraudulent academic claim serves to remind all employers, including academic institutions, how a simple background check can help uncover education fraud.

According to a news release from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), after discovering that an instructor who taught workshops on human trafficking and counterterrorism misrepresented his academic credentials to the Institute, the MIIS is taking steps to ensure a similar case does not occur again by requiring that anyone teaching a course for credit to undergo a background check, effective immediately.

The instructor – who has not responded to requests from MIIS to provide supporting documentation – claimed in a resume and biography submitted to the Institute to be “a retired colonel of the U.S. Army Special Forces” who earned a Ph.D. at the University of Oregon. However, the Institute’s review found the instructor had not earned a Ph.D. at the University of Oregon, and was unable to obtain military records that substantiated the military service claims, MIIS officials stated in the news release.

Because the instructor served only as an independent contractor and never applied for a position as a faculty member at the Institute, he was not subjected to the pre-employment background checks MIIS requires of all employees, including faculty and adjunct faculty. As a result of this incident, effective immediately, MISS has changed its policy and extended the requirement for a full “pre-engagement” background check to any person who provides classroom instruction for academic credit, regardless of employment status.

Located in Monterey, California, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, a graduate school of Middlebury College, has prepared graduate professionals for global careers in the private, public, nonprofit, and educational sectors since 1955. For more information about the Monterey Institute, visit http://www.miis.edu.

Background checks that include verifications of education can help employers avoid hiring job applicants that make fraudulent academic claims. This case demonstrates how a failure to run an academic verification during a background check can allow a fraudulent claim of education to fall through the cracks. A simple phone call would have prevented this. 

Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a nationwide provider of background checks that include education verifications, has extensive procedures to ensure that any school is legitimate and not a so-called “diploma mill” (also known as a “degree mill”), an organization that awards academic degrees and diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without recognition by official educational accrediting bodies. The terms “diploma mill” and “degree mill” may apply to:

  • A “real” degree from a fake college.
  • A fake degree from a real college.

ESR also has a wealth of material on the subject of academic fraud including an article by ESR’s founder and President Lester Rosen, “The Basics of Educational Verifications,” at http://www.esrcheck.com/wordpress/1090/the-basics-of-education-verifications. In addition, the ESR Resource Center contains information on states with lists of fraudulent schools as well as how to find real accredited schools at: http://www.esrcheck.com/services/resources.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is the company that wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. Employment Screening Resources is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) for proving compliance with the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program (BSAAP). For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations and Business Development, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.miis.edu/media/view/21940/original/2010-1120_bill_hillar_release.pdf