In a startling revelation made by a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) article, the Axact fake degree scandal has now engulfed Canada, revealing that over 800 Canadian citizens purchased fake degrees from the software company.
This came to the fore after investigations were made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and an international publication.
The ones who fell prey to the fake degree scam in Canada include engineers, nurses, counsellors and doctors.
Former FBI agent Allen Ezell, who was probing the Axact “diploma mill” case, said this is just one operation, and it does not specify the number of fake degrees sold in Canada on the whole.
“All of us can be harmed by any professional that … does not have the full extent of training that his credentials purport that he has,” he said.
The case of Gilbert Correces, in this regard, is very important. He acquired one such Almeda University degree from Axact. Interestingly, Correces was previously a contractor, but he is now a “psychotherapist”.
However, the PhD and Correces’s alma mater are both fake as Almeda University is affiliated with Axact’s international diploma mill scheme, and is not an accredited post-secondary institution.
Yasir Jamshaid, a former quality assurance employee of Axact, said 95 per cent of the education customers “were crooks themselves.”
“They knew they’re buying something that is not real but they’re still going for it. They’re not innocent.”
Jamshaid told that when he blew the whistle on the software company in early 2015, by then Axact had recovered approximately $600,000 for about 20 customers who he believes were actually deceived.
With regards to the scandal, a US court on August 29 sentenced an Axact executive, Umair Hamid, to 21 months in prison and levied a fine of $5,303,020 “for his role in an international diploma mill scheme operated through the Pakistani company”.
“Hamid, 31, of Karachi, Pakistan, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison”, according to a press statement by US Department of Justice in April, this year.
He was arrested on Dec 19, 2016, according to a statement by former Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara. He was produced in a federal court in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, the following day.