I think I'll add a degree from Carlingford University to my resume. I'll list it alongside my degree in Loch Ness Monster studies from Bigfoot U.
Carlingford was a fake university -- a diploma mill -- created by con artist Kenneth Shong, while he was in prison on forgery charges
. He was getting his fellow inmates to enroll there, having convinced them it was real. Though one inmate became suspicious of "'poor business practices and unresponsiveness' in relation to the school returning his grades and giving further lessons."
Shong made a website for Carlingford, to make it seem slightly more legitimate. I found an archived copy of the site
on the wayback machine. The site boasted that Carlingford taught students, "the ability to think creatively and critically" -- just not critically enough to realize they were being conned.
More astute critical thinkers might have noticed the site included a short rant about how the accreditation process is a scam (and therefore why Carlingford wasn't accredited) -- which is the kind of thing you don't usually find on the websites of legitimate universites:
The word 'accreditation' is a concept that only exists in the US. It is mostly a concept to make money (to be accredited, you have to pay an agency to do so), and there are 7 major accrediting agencies in the US. No other country in the world uses this term or concept.
Prison officials cottoned on to Shong's scheme around 2007. But it was only a week ago that he went to court to face a charge of fraud -- immediately after he had finished serving his sentence on the forgery charges. Links: Daily Mail
, Green Bay Press Gazette