Man held for selling fake US degrees in Chennai

June 7th, 2008 - 6:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, June 7 (IANS) A man has been arrested for fraud after he allegedly fleeced over 100 people by selling them fake doctorate degrees, police said here Saturday. According to police sources, the suspect M. Richard, arrested Friday, claimed to represent a non-existent “America West University” and would charge between Rs.60,000 ($1500) to Rs.100,000 for issuing ‘doctorate’ degrees to them.

The scam came to light when an industrialist crosschecked the veracity of his ‘degree’ through a non-resident-Indian friend, found it was fake and complained to the police.

The suspect has reportedly admitted that he had been running the racket for over 12 years since quitting a white-collar job at a cultural academy in the city that felicitated successful industrialists in return for money. The police said Richard made nearly Rs.8 million from the scam.

He had issued locally printed, genuine-looking certificates to his clients, police sources revealed.

A plumber was arrested here a few years ago for selling medical degrees from fictitious universities in India in return for money.

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