Online University That Gave Cat Diploma Sued For Fraud
POSTED: 7:04 am EST December 7, 2004
UPDATED: 11:20 am EST December 7, 2004
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- An online university that supposedly granted a graduate degree in business to a pet cat was sued Monday for consumer fraud by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.
Trinity Southern University in Texas, a cellular company and the two brothers who ran them are accused of misappropriating Internet addresses of the state Senate and more than 60 Pennsylvania businesses to sell bogus academic degrees and prescription drugs by spam e-mail, according to the lawsuit.
Investigators paid $299 for a bachelor's degree for a Colby Nolan -- actually a deputy attorney general's 6-year-old black cat -- claiming he had experience that included baby-sitting and retail management.
On Trinity Southern's Web site, where the price for a doctorate is $499, the school said it awards degrees "to individuals with the same working knowledge as a recent college graduate from a traditional university."
The school allegedly determined that Colby Nolan's resume entitled him to a master of business administration degree, which came embossed with Trinity Southern's gold seal. The transcript listed the individual courses the cat passed including economics, accounting and finance along with the corresponding grades (all A?s and B?s) and the credit hours. The document stated that the courses were completed in the Spring 2002, Fall 2002, Spring 2003, and Fall 2003 semesters. According to the transcript, the cat earned a 3.5 grade-point average.
Shamalama says: Now why didn't I get this degree years earlier?