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U of I Prof Helps Take Down Fake Diploma Mill

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A major player in a fake diploma mill is scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow. The prosecution of Steven Randock was helped by a professor from the U of I.

Professor George Gollin normally studies physics.

GOLLIN: Experimental elementary partical physics.

But a few years back his email inbox filled-up with annoying messages offering diplomas, for a price.

GOLLIN: I called the number on one of the ads, figuring I’d yell at somebody. The person who eventually called me back, gave me a sales pitch, and I thought, ‘Oh. This is really very amusing.’

Gollin started compiling information online, an archive of fake diploma offers. His work helped prosecutors snag the Randock family and their associates in Spokane, Washington. The group allegedly sold more than $6 million in fake high school and college diplomas.

Steven Randock pleaded guilty this spring. Prosecutors are seeking a three-year prison term.

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