Degree Mills: The Billion-dollar Industry That Has Sold Over A Million Fake Diplomas

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Prometheus Books, Publishers, 2005 - Law - 318 pages
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Need a degree from Harvard, Yale, Stanford, or MIT? No problem . Send us a check!Do you know where your doctor, lawyer, or clergyman earned his or her degree? In 1986, a congressional committee report concluded that more than 500,000 working Americans have a fraudulent degree. The media hardly noticed. The public yawned. The academic world buried its head in the sand. And things have gotten much, much worse since then.Fueled by the Internet, more than 300 active degree mills are selling thousands of fake degrees each week, including medical and law degrees. Their total sales exceed $500 million a year, yet the damage that their customers do is immeasurable. In a recent case, a man with a fake medical degree was put on trial for manslaughter after a patient died from incorrect medication. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.Allen Ezell, an FBI agent specializing in degree fraud, and John Bear, prolific author and expert witness on the subject in federal and state courts, reveal the shocking dimensions of this growing scam in this thoroughly researched exposť. Because so few people check up on degrees, huge numbers of fake-degree holders are in the workplace as therapists, nuclear safety engineers, military officers, teachers, and top business executives, including CFOs of two Fortune 500 companies. Other prominent holders of phony diplomas include a top official at the Department of Homeland Security, an Undersecretary of Defense, two best-selling authors, and the fire chief of one of America's largest cities.Even bigger than the fake schools are the more-than-100 counterfeiting services, which sell diplomas of real schools. When coauthor Allen Ezell headed the FBI's diploma-mill task force, he raided one counterfeit service in Oregon and found 300 stacks of perfectly reproduced blank diplomas representing 300 major universities, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and MIT.Beyond their work in exposing such fraudulent practices, the authors provide lengthy and detailed recommendations on what can be done, directing their suggestions to the FBI, the FTC, the Department of Education, the media, the academic world, corporations, and individuals. In addition they show how degree mills operate, how to check up on anyone's degree, list more than 1,000 current and recently active degree mills and counterfeiting services (with contact information), and maintain a regularly updated Web site.This is an invaluable reference book for personnel departments in business and academia, as well as for the average consumer.Allen Ezell was the founder and head of the FBI's DipScam diploma mill task force.John Bear, the former head of new business development for the educational division of Pearson PLC, is a consultant and highly regarded author of the Bears' Guide series of books on education, plus numerous other books on consumerism, computers, and other topics.

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About the author (2005)

Allen Ezell was the founder and head of the FBI's DipScam diploma mill task force.

John Bear, the former head of new business development for the educational division of Pearson PLC, is a consultant and highly regarded author of the Bears' Guide series of books on education, plus numerous other books on consumerism, computers, and other topics.

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