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May 15 2010

Seychelles International Business Authority takes action against diploma mills

At the end of April the Seychelles Authorities struck off Canterbury University Limited, Earlscroft University Limited, University Consortium International Limited and Bridgewater University Limited, who were all registered as International Business Companies in the country. Their conduct of business affairs or other activities were found to be, or likely to be, contrary to Seychelles ' law.

The news was particularly welcomed by degree mill expert Dr. George Brown, who successfully defended legal action instigated against him by Earlscroft University. Dr. Brown publicly named Earlscroft University as a degree mill on his website in early in 2004. Earlscroft took umbrage to this, and commenced an array of spam attacks on his work and associates. They also created a range of fictitious online legal firms which threatened to sue him if he did not retract the statement. Dr. Brown ignored the threats. As a result Earlscroft engaged legal representation in the State of South Australia (where he resides) in a further attempt to scare him into retracting his claims.

During this time Earlscroft kept mail bombing his employer and put up a number of websites further attempting to defame and pressure Dr. Brown into retracting his claims. This activity intrigued him and further spurred him into pursuing the case. A visit to London to view the erm campus confirmed a range of suspicions, and verified that the actual operator lived in Portugal. Given Earlscroft had no assets in the State of South Australia for him to claim against if he won the case (which he did), Earlscroft was ordered to put up a significant amount of money in court. Interestingly they did, and it appeared that the case was going to proceed.

Unfortunately Earlscroft withdrew the claim just before discovery was to commence. The reasons for this are quite simple - during the discovery process Earlscroft would have been obliged to divulge the names and location of the Directors of the Company. Clearly if Earlscroft had done this the game would have been up, as the alleged links to would have been confirmed. So, in the end Dr. Brown was awarded $4000 and the 'university ' disappeared into the ether, never to be heard of again. And the moral of the story? The truth will always prevail - never back down from shallow degree mill threats.