Umair Hamid was sentenced to 21 months in prison for his role in an international diploma mill scheme operated through the Pakistani company Axact by the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim.
“Umair Hamid and Axact operated a massive diploma mill that preyed on consumers who thought their tuition would pay for a college education. Instead, Hamid provided victims with worthless fake diplomas. Defendants like Hamid who profit from fake schools face very real penalties, including prison time,” Kim said.
Hamid pled guilty on April 6, 2017, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to court documents, Hamid helped run a massive diploma mill through his employer, Axact, one of the world’s leading information technology providers.
Hamid and his co-conspirators deceived individuals across the world and the U.S. into enrolling in supposed high schools, colleges and universities.
Consumers paid upfront fees, believing that in return they would be enrolled in real educational courses and eventually, receive legitimate degrees but instead, consumers received no instruction and worthless diplomas.
Hamid, who served most recently as Axact’s Assistant Vice President of International Relations, helped Axact conduct the fraud in the United States, among other locations.
On Axact’s behalf, he served as the primary contact during negotiations with a former competitor for Axact’s acquisition of websites for fake educational institutions, which under Axact’s control, continued to deceive consumers into paying upfront enrollment fees for non-existent educational programs.
In May of 2015, Pakistani authorities shut down Axact and arrested multiple individuals associated with the company for participating in the diploma mill operation however Hamid continued working on the fraud as he was not arrested.
He even personally traveling to the United States in 2016 to open a bank account used to collect money from the defrauded consumers.
Along with his prison term, Hamid was ordered to forfeit $5,303,020.