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New Jersey Fake Degree Case May Lead to New Restrictions

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Diploma mill abuses in a New Jersey school district may lead to tighter restrictions on the use of fake or unaccredited degrees.

In a recent New Jersey case, three administrators in the Freehold Regional High School District used tax dollars to purchase fake doctoral degrees from Breyer State University, a now-defunct Alabama-based diploma mill. Those ill-gotten advanced degrees garnered substantial pay raises for the three state employees over the past couple of years.

New Jersey taxpayers criticized the wasteful spending of the school officials. Yet the New Jersey Education Department ultimately found no criminal wrongdoing by the administrators; because no law was in place at the time prohibiting the use of fake degrees.

But N.J. state regulations are currently being tightened to prevent similar college degree abuses. In the future, the use of fake degrees should be prohibited in the Freehold Regional High School District as a means of obtaining employment, a pay raise or a promotion.

Diploma mill cases have become more prominent in the news since the release of tens of thousands of names of fake degree purchasers following a high-profile Washington case. Dixie and Stephen Randock, of Washington, were convicted along with their daughter and several others following a lengthy investigation headed by the FBI. The Randocks raked in over $7 million operating their illegal business.

Following publication of ‘the list’, many of those named were fired, demoted, reprimanded or investigated. New federal legislation continues to move forward in Congress to further strengthen legal avenues of action toward those who sell fake degrees or those who use diploma mills to obtain employment or job promotions.

Fake college degrees are particularly harmful when they are used to secure jobs in the health or medical fields, aviation, counseling, engineering, and homeland security.

Potential college and university students should thoroughly check out both the traditional and online schools in which they are interested. It is important to utilize the resources like the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in order to insure the choice of an accredited online degree or on-campus degree.

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Hopefully, New Jersey taxpayers will soon be able to trust that education expenditures for fraudulent college degrees are a thing of the past. 

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Posted by vida