By Wei Ran | 2012-4-9 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
MORE than 200 senior corporate executives in China were involved in a diploma scam after paying about 3.4 million yuan (US$539,240) for fake US university diplomas, Beijing News reported today.
A nine-member fraud gang led by Liao Fengqi and Li Yongqiang has been charged with forging American university diplomas and degree certificates, and the case will be tried in the Haidian District Court in Beijing this afternoon.
Liao, 36, ran an education consulting firm in Beijing. In 2006 he paid 65,000 yuan for a crash MBA course in a California business school and soon found out his diploma was a fake.
The man who sold him the diploma was Li. Instead of reporting to the police, Liao decided to join Li in his fraud business.
The gang lured customers by touting that all they needed to do was to pay the tuition and the foreign universities would issue them the diplomas even though they did not attend any class nor took any exam at all.
From 2007 to 2010, Liao and Li earned 2.82 million yuan and 587,400 yuan respectively by forging foreign diplomas.
Haidian District prosecutors handled seven similar cases last year, involving 33 suspects, 339 victims and 7.97 million yuan.