Home Philadelphia Press Releases 2014 Connecticut Man Charged with Running Online Fake Diploma Scheme
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Connecticut Man Charged with Running Online Fake Diploma Scheme

U.S. Attorney’s Office April 16, 2014
  • Eastern District of Pennsylvania (215) 861-8200

PHILADELPHIA—James Enowitch, 48, of Cromwell, Connecticut, was charged today by information with mail fraud and aiding and abetting mail fraud in connection with the operation of a number of fraudulent diploma mills, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. As a result, between 2003 and 2012, Enowitch allegedly sold $5 million worth of fake degrees throughout the world.

According to the information, as early as 2003, Enowitch began operating a diploma mill through which he and another co-schemer advertised and sold diplomas for a fee but required no course work for those diplomas. It is charged that Enowitch and his co-schemer eventually operated at least seven different websites through which they sold fraudulent degrees, including ReddingUniversity.net, GlendaleUniversity.com, SuffieldUniversity.com, SuffieldUniversity.org, GreenwoodUniversity.org, BrysonUniversity-Edu.org, and WorryFreeDegree.com. It is further alleged that each of the seven websites was linked to an entity of the same name, owned by Enowitch and his co-schemer, and that those entities were diploma mills in that they had no faculty members, offered no academic curricula or services, required no course or class work, and were not recognized by the United States Department of Education. It is further alleged that Enowitch and his co-schemer went so far as to create a fraudulent accrediting body, called the National Distance Learning Accreditation Council (NDLAC), in order to claim that their diploma mills were accredited.

According to the information, Enowitch and others created phony transcripts that represented that the purchaser had taken certain coursework that the purchaser had never taken; allowed purchasers to create their own transcripts and backdate degrees; and provided fraudulent verification services to back up the fake degrees, in case an employer or other party sought verification. Enowitch and his co-schemer allegedly advertised degree packages ranging from $475 to $550 for associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral-level degrees, with a “multi-degree discount” for buying more than one. For an additional fee, purchasers could also allegedly select grades for the phony courses included in their transcripts.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and an order of forfeiture.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J.D. Hogan.

An Information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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