A Cromwell man has pleaded guilty to federal charges for selling $5 million worth of fake diplomas around the world.
James Enowitch, 48, put together an elaborate scheme that allowed thousands of people across the globe to get false college degrees without actually going to school, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The so-called “diploma mill” began operating as early as 2003.
Officials said Enowitch and an accomplice created seven different “school” Web sites where buyers could purchase fake degrees. All it took was a few keystrokes and a few hundred dollars – degree packages sold for between $475 and $550.
Enowitch profited more than $700,000 from the scheme by selling fake degrees in the name of Redding University, Suffield University Glendale University, Greenwood University and Bryson University, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
However, they had no faculty, offered no academic curricula or services, required no course or class work, and were not recognized by the United States Department of Education.
Some of the sites had local URLs, including suffielduniversity.com and suffielduniversity.org.
Enowitch declined to comment when NBC Connecticut stopped by his home in April.
“I have no comment,” Enowitch said. “This is a misunderstanding and I don’t know what to say.”
He’s also accused of making up a fake organization called the National Distance Learning Accreditation Council to put the stamp of approval on the diplomas so they looked legitimate.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Enowitch falsified transcripts with detailed course work and created a fake verification service in case employers probed the buyer’s background.
He could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and an order of forfeiture.