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  1. #1
    azskeptic's Avatar
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    Liberian diploma mill

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    http://allafrica.com/stories/200508221242.html

    Report: Liberian Embassy Official Tied to Diploma Mill Scam, Subject of U.S. Secret Service Probe

    Liberian Observer (Monrovia)

    August 22, 2005
    Posted to the web August 22, 2005


    A U.S. Secret Service affidavit says an agent posed as a would-be operator of an online university and was introduced to Abdulah K. Dunbar, a Liberian Embassy official, at a July 7 meeting that was secretly videotaped by other agents. Dunbar denies demanding money as part of a scam, says agreement was a 'genuine offer.'

    United States Federal authorities are said to be conducting a criminal probe of suspected "diploma mills" that could involve bogus accreditation supplied by a Liberian government official - and a Rochester-area man appears to be at least tangentially involved in the case.


    The Rochester Democrat newspaper reported over the weekend that the U.S. Secret Service raided homes and businesses in the western United States late last week in connection with the probe, which is focused on St. Regis University and several related online colleges that claim accreditation from a Liberian government agency. An affidavit filed in court by a Secret Service agent said the colleges sell degrees to "students" and require little or no coursework.

    Supporting Document

    When the Observer contacted Mr. Dunbar about the report over the weekend, the deputy consul admitted that he did in fact meet with St. Regis University officials but denies ever requesting or demanding money from them to start an online university in Liberia.

    Dunbar says in July this year he received a telephone call from a Mr. Novak, who is the head of the St. Regis Online University which Novak said was accredited by the Liberian government. But according to Dunbar, the Liberian government has since disclaimed the accreditation.

    Dunbar says he agreed to meet Novak at the Mayflower hotel to honor Novak's invitation. Dunbar said he informed Novak and another St. Regis official that it would be difficult to establish an online university in Liberia. According to Dunbar, the procedure used to register St. Regis University in Liberia had backfired before.

    "Mr. ******* offered to give Mr. Novak and I, $5,000 each as per diem, excluding our air fare and hotel expenses in Monrovia, since they would not be going to Monrovia, I asked them to prepare a proposal for the establishment of the online University, plus a proposed brochure, which we could present as a blueprint for the Online University to the accredition authorities on Higher Education and the minister," says Dunbar.

    According to the Democratic-Chronicle, the affidavit said an agent obtained four bogus degrees from the online institutions while working undercover earlier this year.

    The operators of the colleges, which appear to be based in Spokane, Wash., have reaped at least several million dollars from the scheme, the affidavit said.

    The Democratic-Chronicle says Richard J. Hoyer, an Irondequoit resident with a history of involvement in online colleges, is identified in the affidavit as having been connected to St. Regis and the Liberian accreditation gambit in the past.

    Agents listed records or other documents bearing Hoyer's name as among the items they were seeking in their searches.

    In stories published in 2003, the Democrat and Chronicle reported that Hoyer had drawn scrutiny from education regulators in at least three states. New York ordered him to cease operating an online homeland-security college in October 2003 because it had no state authorization.

    The newspaper also reported that Hoyer was involved with an entity that was arranging accreditation in the name of the African nation of Liberia. Accreditation, if bestowed by a legitimate entity, serves as proof that a college or university program has met strict standards.

    The Secret Service affidavit said an agent posed as a would-be operator of an online university and was introduced to Abdulah K. Dunbar, a Liberian Embassy official, at a July 7 meeting that was secretly videotaped by other agents. The affidavit said Dunbar promised he could arrange for Liberian accreditation for the university in return for a $5,000 payment.

    The Observer is making efforts to contact Mr. Hoyer for a response. But Hoyer, according to the Democratic-Chronicle previously disavowed any past or present connection with St. Regis.

    The affidavit listed three homes and three businesses in the Spokane area, and a home in suburban Phoenix, Ariz., as targets for searches. It gave no indication that locations in the Rochester area were to be searched.

    No one has been criminally charged in the probe, though the affidavit said the Secret Service is investigating possible violation of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and other federal statutes.

    "It is completely misleading and unfair for a report on the Internet to mention that I demanded the amount of $5,000 from Mr. ******* and his colleagues. This amount was a genuine offer and a gentlemen agreement to be provided to facilitate our travel to Liberia," says Dunbar.


    http://allafrica.com/stories/200508230282.html

    Bogus Degrees On Sale in the U.S.

    The Analyst (Monrovia)
    NEWS
    August 23, 2005
    Posted to the web August 23, 2005


    The United States of America has long been considered by Liberians 'a land of vast opportunities.'

    For this reason, every second Liberians want to emigrate to the U.S. to study and work. Many had gone and come back brandishing academic achievements - few claimed to have earned degrees in the applied sciences while a lot of others claimed master's and doctorate degrees in the social sciences. While no efforts were made in the past to question these academic accolades, no Liberian misses the fact that the high academic exploits from high profiles overseas universities and colleges notwithstanding, the nation stands in want of the professional structuring of the economy, the building of the nation's political and social institutions, and the streamlining of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies.

    Degree holders returning from the U.S. and elsewhere had simply alighted at the ******* International Airport in well-polished suit coats, grabbed a ministerial job in Monrovia, and packed up and flew away having drained state coffers of much-needed pennies. With the October legislative and presidential elections on the horizon, the Liberian electorate is apparently promising a protest vote against the do-gooder degree holders, generally indicting educated people for the woes of the Liberian society. But just how many of these so-called degree holders are earners and how many are imposters?

    According to our correspondent in the U.S. quoting court documents based on extensive secret service investigation, half of the academic degrees in the hands of foreigners may have been bought in underground markets in the U.S.

    Foreign nationals, including potential terrorists, could legally gain entry into the United States with fraudulent degrees purchased from Spokane-based diploma mills, documents made public Monday reveal.

    Half the "degrees" sold by Saint Regis University and other diploma mills were sold to overseas purchasers, a majority of which were for "students" from Saudi Arabia, the documents say.

    The documents don't give a specific number of degrees sold overseas, but they disclose the operation based in Spokane and North Idaho has "made millions" in the last few years.

    Offshore bank accounts are being used as part of the alleged money-laundering operation directed by Dixie and Steve Randocks, the documents allege.

    An eight-month task force investigation, outlined in the documents, revealed that a top-ranking Liberian diplomat based in Washington, D.C., was soliciting cash bribes from the Randocks and their associates based in Spokane, Post Falls and Arizona.

    The Liberian Embassy official demanded the bribes in exchange for lining up "accreditation" for Saint Regis University and other diploma mills and for arranging payments of $50 to $100 a month to Liberian educators who would pose as "faculty members" for the online universities.

    As part of the investigation, the demands for the "cash payments" were secretly videotaped during a July 5 meeting at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., where an undercover U.S. Secret Service agent from Spokane attempted to buy an online diploma mill for $100,000.

    Abdullah Dunbar, the deputy chief of the Liberian Embassy in Washington, D.C., demanded $5,000 and an expense-paid trip to his homeland to finalize accreditation for the online university, the court documents allege.

    Asked if any laws were being violated by making such a demand, Dunbar responded, "Nah, I'm a diplomat," according to the court documents. If he isn't charged, U.S. authorities are expected to seek Dunbar's deportation, according to a source familiar with the case.

    There have been no arrests, and no criminal charges have been filed.

    But a 141-page affidavit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, makes it clear that the task force is on the verge of seeking federal charges for conspiracy, wire and mail fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud, income tax evasion and engaging in "prohibited foreign trade practices." Federal sources say the most troubling aspect of the investigation revealed that foreigners who purchased such bogus online degrees could then be eligible for "H1-B" visas, using their educational backgrounds as reasons for legitimate entry into the United States.

    During the investigation, an undercover Secret Service agent using the name "Mohammed ****" applied for a college degree from James Monroe University.

    The applicant, court documents say, filled out an online application, claiming he had obtained "multiple hours of training in chemistry and engineering" as a member of the Syrian Army.

    **** said he was in the United States on a visitor's visa, "but wanted to quickly obtain college degrees so he could find employment and obtain a H1-B visa to remain in the United States," the documents say.

    Within a month, the operators of the bogus online university, believed to be based in Spokane, responded by e-mail, telling **** he could purchase college degrees in chemistry and environmental engineering for $1,277.

    "The payment form also provided the opportunity for 'Mohammed ****' to backdate any of his degrees and choose whatever date of completion he would like," the documents said.

    The meeting with Dunbar at the Washington, D.C., hotel was set up by Richard Novak, of Peoria, Ariz., identified in court documents as an associate of Dixie and Stephen Randock.

    The Randocks' home in Colbert, just north of Spokane, and their business office at 14525 N. Newport Highway were among five locations in the Spokane area searched last week by a multi-agency federal and state task force, led by the U.S. Secret Service.

    Novak told an undercover agent that the Randocks' three main online universities, Saint Regis, Robertstown and James Monroe, "have made millions of dollars over recent years." Despite some recent "negative press (attention), James Monroe and the other schools are still fully recognized and accredited by the Liberian government," Novak told the agent, according to the documents.

    Agents also searched Novak's home in Arizona and a business office in Post Falls, used for shipping diplomas, and a stamp works at 5210 N. Market, operated by Blake Carlson.

    Documents seized in the search show the Hillyard businessman has conspired with the Randocks, listing himself as the "dean of studies" of Robertstown University, and "provost and chief academic officer" for Saint Regis University - two of the bogus diploma mills.

    Carlson also describes himself as "co-founder of the World Chapel Ministries," which says it is "dedicated to the mission of helping Christians through the life experiences, missions and ministry attain valid, government-recognized degrees, ordinations and certifications." In the course of the investigation, the undercover Secret Service agent also purchased a high school degree, a two-year associate of arts degree, and a four-year "bachelor's degree in pre-law." He also purchased "official transcripts for four full years' worth of college classes which never occurred," the court documents say.

    But with the alleged involvement of a Liberian Embassy official in the sale of fake online degrees, many are wondering how many of these false degree holders are in the country posing as achievers waiting to awarded state power and ministerial posts following the elections?
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  2. #2
    teratos's Avatar
    teratos is offline Jedi Moderator 658 points
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    I hope that they don't close them before I can buy more degrees. I want to get a PhD in philanthropy with a minor in modern dance. G
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  3. #3
    smrtdoctor1 is offline Member 511 points
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    St. Luke

    Where is St. Luke? It's name is not on the diploma mill list?
    Peace

    St.Martinus University;Semester 5 basic sciences
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  4. #4
    azskeptic's Avatar
    azskeptic is offline Moderator 666 points
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    St. Luke no longer exists per the Liberian govt or WHO or IMED
    Moderator - State Licensing Forum

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    This is it. There are no hidden meanings.WYSIWYG

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