Now that a diploma mill in Spokane, Washington has the attention of government officials, Washington state has bigger problems than serving as home to struggling Starbucks. The eight people involved in the scam sold more than $6 million of their merchandise, and some will spend time in prison for issuing over 9,000 fake high school, undergraduate, and graduate degrees to individuals in 130 countries.
Aside from creating several of their own fake universities — St. Regis University, Ameritech University, Pan America University, James Monroe University, James Monroe High School, All Saints American University, and New Manhattan University — the mill sold counterfeit degrees from legitimate schools like University of Maryland, George Washington University, the University of Missouri and Texas A&M University.
Government officials are now reviewing a list of 9,600 names to find federal employees who may have used a phony degree to gain employment. Those included on the list may have inquired about the degrees without actually following through, but at least 20 are military personnel and at least 10 are government employees or contractors.