I got an offer from a newspaper to make my story public on how I wrote a lot of PhD's for paying customers. Do I have to fear legal consequences and what would happen if I make it public (without naming the customers)? I didn't wrote in "dangerous" fields like chemistry or medicine. Only in following fields:

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Biology
  • Philosophy
  • German
  • French
  • Law
  • Economy
  • Scandinavistic
  • Molecular Biology
  • Psychology
  • Etc.

As far as I know, I don't have to fear any legal consequences. But I wanted to ask here to be sure. And do I have to fear problems with lawyers when I go to public with my story? Like they will force me to name my customers? I want to protect my customers - it would be bad for business.

This is a totally theoretical question. I am not asking for legal advice.

  • 1
    To be clear: by "wrote a lot of PhD's" you mean "wrote a lot of PhD theses", correct? I ask because a lot of PhD programs require coursework and multiple published works in academic journals, culminating in a final thesis. Did you (theoretically) write some or all of these, or just the final thesis? – apsillers Aug 9 '16 at 21:19
  • theoretically I only wrote the final thesis. Sometimes a bachelor project and a master project too ... and sometimes I wrote project work too ... but mostly it was the final thesis and writing academic articles being published in peer-reviewed articles. theoretically of course – Ralph Gottlieb Aug 9 '16 at 21:28
  • 1
    I'd be most worried about the possibility that one of your alleged customers might sue you for libel or defamation. In most jurisdictions, it's a defense if you can show that your claims are true - but trials are always uncertain, and defending the case could be very expensive in terms of legal fees. I would definitely consult a lawyer before doing anything. – Nate Eldredge Aug 10 '16 at 1:22
  • 1
    Wouldn't this amount to defrauding the university and everyone from whom the student got anything because of the degree? I find it far-fetched that someone wrote lots of Ph.D. theses in mathematics, physics, molecular biology, and computer science. And why is chemistry "dangerous" where those fields are not? – Michael Hardy Aug 11 '16 at 21:31

Some states in the United States have laws specifically about selling theses (etc.) For example, see Pennsylvania Code Title 18 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES Chapter 73 - Trade and Commerce 7324 - Unlawful sale of dissertations, theses and term papers:

No person shall sell or offer for distribution any dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report or other written assignment to any student enrolled in a university, college, academy, school or any other institution within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania knowing, or under the circumstances having reason to know, that said assignment is intended for submission either in whole or substantial part under said student's name to such educational institution in fulfillment of the requirement for a degree, diploma, certificate or course of study.

Similar laws exist in many other states. For example, California, Florida, Texas, Virginia, Oregon, New York.

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