Connected to a worldwide â€œdiploma millâ€ scheme that collected at least approximately $140 million from tens of thousands of consumers.
Axact promoted and claimed to have an affiliation with approximately 350 fictitious high schools and universities, which Axact advertised online to consumers as genuine schools. During certain time periods since 2014, Axact received approximately 5,000 phone calls per day from individuals seeking to purchase Axact products or enroll in educational institutions supposedly affiliated with Axact. At least some of those consumers appeared to believe that they were calling phone numbers associated with the respective schools. When consumers asked where the schools were located, sales representatives were instructed to give fictitious addresses.
Once a consumer paid for a school certificate or diploma that falsely reflected a completed course of study, Axact sales agents were trained to use sales techniques to convince the consumer that the consumer should also purchase additional â€œaccreditationâ€ or â€œcertificationsâ€ for such certificates or diplomas in order to make them appear more legitimate. Axact, through HAMID and his co-conspirators, falsely â€œaccreditedâ€ purported colleges and other educational institutions by arranging to have diplomas from these phony educational institutions affixed with fake stamps supposedly bearing the seal and signature of the U.S. Secretary of State, as well as various states and state agencies and federal and state officials.