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Tab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:13 PM
Original message
Lawyer: Gov't workers got fake diplomas
SPOKANE, Wash. - At least 135 federal employees, including a White House staff member and National Security Agency employees, bought bogus online college degrees from a diploma mill, a lawyer in the case against the mill operators said.

Some of those who paid thousands of dollars for phony diplomas include a senior State Department employee in Kuwait and a
Department of Justice employee in Spokane, defense lawyer Peter S. Schweda said Wednesday.

The bogus degree purchases by the federal workers were revealed Wednesday during a U.S. District Court status conference for five defendants in the case against the mill, The Spokesman-Review reported Thursday.
...
On Tuesday, Kenneth Wade Pearson, 31, webmaster for the diploma mill operation, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and receipt of child pornography.

Pearson said he would provide evidence and testify against the Randocks.
...
As webmaster, Pearson set up and maintained as many as 125 Web sites for sales of fraudulent college and high school degrees worldwide, investigators wrote in court filings.

More than 10,000 sexually explicit images of children were found in four computers used by the Spokane-based operation, government lawyers said, but only Pearson was named in pornography charges.

Material provided to the defense by the Justice Department shows at least 135 government employees bought college or university degrees to use in seeking promotions or pay raises, Schweda said. The phony diplomas came from such places as St. Regis University, James Monroe University and Robertstown University.
More: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061012/ap_on_go_ot/diploma...
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. I broke my ass to get admitted to law school, to get through
law school, and pass the bar. I've changed my mind about Guantanamo: It's the perfect respite for these jerks of this caliber.
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. ... and these are the "Grown Up's" ???
What a bunch of fucking criminals, cheaters, greed-mongers and deceivers. :mad:
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. oh oooooooo.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. This administration is loaded with cheats, flimflammers and hucksters.
Wonder who the 135 federal employees are, including a White House staff member and National Security Agency employees, who obtained fake diplomas? Also wonder how many *promotions* and plum positions were landed by touting fake qualifications ? Grasping thieves.

This administration is nothing but a sham.



Seems the original investigation was into the diploma mills, and the investigators stumbled onto the porn on Pearson's home computers.


From January 25, 2006, regarding the indictment of Kenneth Wade Pearson, the diploma mill webmaster:

The pornography charges stemmed from an investigation of the Internet diploma mill by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

"These child pornography charges are a direct outgrowth of the task force investigation of the diploma mill operation," Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Lister said Tuesday.

Pearson is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 9 on federal charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.

He's one of eight people charged by federal prosecutors in October with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and money laundering in the diploma operation. None of the others face child-pornography charges.

Investigators allege the operation used more than 300 fictional online colleges and universities.

Half the phony degrees sold by "Saint Regis University," "Robertstown University" and "James Monroe University" went to overseas purchasers, many from Saudi Arabia, investigators said.

The buyers could have used their fraudulent college degrees to apply to legally gain entry into the United States, raising potential terrorism and homeland security issues.


Hard drives from four computers seized from Pearson's home in the diploma investigation stored sexually explicit images of children, some younger than 12 years old, Lister said.



Try, convinct and imprison all of these ba$tard$.
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. "Paper Moon" by Harold Arlen. Classic and apropos

Say, its only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea
But it wouldnt be make-believe
If you believed in me

Yes, its only a canvas sky
Hanging over a muslin tree
But it wouldnt be make-believe
If you believed in me

Without your love
Its a honky-tonk parade
Without your love
Its a melody played in a penny arcade

Its a barnum and bailey world
Just as phony as it can be
But it wouldnt be make-believe
If you believed in me
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Roy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. hmm...
"We're not going to disclose who bought these degrees until after the mid-term elections the trial is under way," U.S. Attorney James A. McDevitt told the newspaper.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
7. The thing that is bothersome as a side issue
Did they get caught due to incompetence on the job? If not, they were able to do the job. What does that say about the relevance of the degree?

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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Good question
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
9. JFC
and me with my REAL degrees can't even find a job!
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nealmhughes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 10:37 PM
Response to Original message
10. How dumb of me: I spent 4 years with the Jesuits at Creighton and then
nearly five getting a research MA and a professional MLIS...and to think I could have bought it and saved $65,000!
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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-18-06 04:39 AM
Response to Original message
11. Another thing that stinks is, this was reported by the AP, but very few...
..."news" papers picked up this story. Check Google news if you don't believe me, it looks like about 5 U.S. papers.
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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-18-06 04:42 AM
Response to Original message
12. UPDATE: Trial that could out feds alleged to have bogus degrees delayed
Edited on Wed Oct-18-06 04:55 AM by Up2Late

Trial that could out feds alleged to have bogus degrees delayed


October 17, 2006

By Karen Rutzick
krutzick@govexec.com

Names of 135 federal employees who allegedly bought fake diplomas from an outfit in the western United States will not be revealed for at least one year, if ever, according to a U.S attorney's office.

Last week in Spokane, Wash., during a pretrial hearing for eight people accused of selling counterfeit degrees from nonexistent universities, a defense attorney told the judge that employees from the National Security Agency and the Health and Human Services, Justice and State departments were among 6,000 people who bought the diplomas, according to the Associated Press.

The AP also reported that Peter Schweda, attorney for alleged diploma mill operator Steven Randock, said the names of 135 government employees who supposedly purchased the degrees for promotions or pay raises would be released during the course of the trial.

The trial will not start for another year, though. Judge Lonny Suko of the District Court of the Eastern District of Washington delayed it until Oct. 1, 2007, to give attorneys more time to prepare. Suko said more than 150,000 pages of e-mails, 40 CDs of documents and up to 50 witnesses will be used.

(more at link) <http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1006/101706r1.htm >

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Up2Late Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-18-06 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. kick n/t
:kick:
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