The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has charged an executive with the Pakistani company Axact in connection to an alleged diploma mill scheme. Umair Hamid has been charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with what the U.S. Attorney's Office press release describes as “a worldwide ‘diploma mill’ scheme that collected at least approximately $140 million from tens of thousands of consumers.”
Hamid served as assistant vice president of international relations for Axact, which was the subject of a May 2015 New York Times investigation into the company's alleged trade in selling fake academic degrees. The U.S. government alleges that after Pakistani law enforcement shut Axact down and prosecuted certain individuals associated with the company, Hamid resumed selling fake diplomas to American customers in exchange for up-front fees "based upon false and fraudulent representations." He also allegedly traveled to the U.S. to open a bank account used to collect money from customers.
Hamid was arrested Dec. 19 and appeared the next day in federal court in Fort Mitchell, Ky. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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