Tampa Bay Mayoral Candidate Accused of Diploma Fraud Highlights Diploma Mill Challenge; Opines CriminalBackgroundRecords.com

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A Tampa Bay, Florida mayoral candidate allegedly received a graduate-level degree from a diploma mill, highlighting on-going challenges with potentially fake diplomas in the work place. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com opines: “The challenge of fake diplomas is on-going and a best practice for all hiring managers is to thoroughly vet employment applicants through pre-employment background screening.”

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Diploma mills continue to plague hiring managers and a best practice remains to work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency to thoroughly vet all candidates.

In Tampa Bay, Florida a mayoral candidate was accused of having a graduate level fake diploma and, unknowingly, highlighting the challenge of so-called diploma mills. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of CriminalBackgroundRecords.com opines: “A best practice remains for all hiring managers to thoroughly vet all employment candidates, including verifying professional certificates and academic degrees.”

From TampaBay.com (Oct 18, 18):

The mayor’s profile on the business networking site LinkedIn still says she has a Ph.D. from LaSalle in Louisiana and two master’s degrees, one in psychology and the other in sports medicine.

But records show LaSalle was an unaccredited correspondence school shut down in 1996 as its founder pleaded guilty to fraud and tax evasion. And the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says it never issued Jurado a master’s degree in exercise physiology and sports medicine, as she has claimed on at least two applications for government positions. (1)

The challenge of diploma mills is on-going, especially in the age of the internet.

From GulfNews.com (Sep 30, 18):

In the age of instant communication and instant just about everything else, some people are finding bogus diplomas and degrees the way to go. Why would they want to spend seven or eight years after high school and thousands of dollars to get the certification in a specialty, when buying such credentials off the internet is so much easier {sic}. (2)

Diploma mills, many of them based off-shore in other countries, are big business.

Recently, in Pakistan, local authorities shut down a diploma mill.

Again, from GulfNews.com

And to cater to their demands, there are plenty of bogus degree peddlers online with fake certificates that could fool the most discerning of eyes. One such company, a software firm handing out bogus credentials, was Axact — run by a Pakistani who has since been convicted by the authorities in his home country.

At the time of the raid in Karachi, police seized hundreds of thousands of fake degrees as well as a collection of machinery and devices that were used in the allegedly fraudulent business. Neatly arranged diplomas from bogus institutions, along with student ID cards, overflowed the shelves in Axact offices. (3)

Almeida concludes: “Diploma mills continue to plague hiring managers and a best practice remains to work with a well-qualified third-party pre-employment background screening agency to thoroughly vet all candidates. Diploma and credential verification can be a critical part of a background check and one that can expose fraudulent degrees and certifications.

CriminalBackgroundRecords.com is a third-party background screening company with highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with CriminalBackgroundRecords.com

Notes:
(1)    tampabay.com/news/localgovernment/Mayor-Mel-Jurado-drops-Ph-D-from-bio-at-Temple-Terrace-website_172731820
(2)    gulfnews.com/opinion/thinkers/time-to-put-an-end-to-the-menace-of-fake-degrees-1.2284575
(3)    ibid

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