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US urges victims of fake diploma scheme to come forward

The United States has urged people to come forward and provide information to authorities pertaining to the fake diploma scheme in which an executive of a Pakistani company, Axact, was charged by a US federal court on Wednesday.

“If you believe you were a victim of this crime, including a victim entitled to restitution, and you wish to provide information to law enforcement, please contact the Victim/Witness Unit at the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, at (866) 874-8900,” read an announcement made by the US Department of Justice. “For additional information, go to http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/nys/victimwitness.html,” it added.

The appeal came two days after the arrest of 30-year-old Umair Hamid, an executive at software firm Axact, who was charged in a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scam that impacted tens of thousands of consumers.

Axact executive charged in US over $140 million fake diploma scheme

Hamid’s arrest is the latest step in a global crackdown touched off by arrests in Pakistan last year. Islamabad had asked US authorities to help it investigate Axact, which had been suspected of earning millions of dollars from the sale of bogus university degrees online.

Hamid resumed selling fake diplomas, duping US consumers into paying upfront fees to enroll in fake high schools and colleges even after Pakistani authorities shut Axact down in May 2015, Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

“Hamid allegedly took hefty upfront fees from young men and women seeking an education, leaving them with little more than useless pieces of paper,” Bharara added.

courtesy :express tribune

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