Kings Lake University Gives Toronto Man A Fake Masters Degree For $8100

Kings Lake University seemed like a perfect fit for Erwin Sniedzins. It shared his paranoia of traditional universities 

Erwin Sniedzins found Kings Lake University on the internet. The school offered a master’s degree requiring no exams or academic work. Sniedzins thought it was a school sharing his unconventional approach to education.

Sniedzins told CBC Toronto:

I don’t necessarily like to pay $30,000 to get a master’s when I feel I already have the knowledge.

Sniedzins is president and CEO of educational software company, Mount Knowledge. Sniedzins describes himself as an “Artificial Intelligence Gamification Patent Inventor and Professor. He also claims to be an inventor, Keynote Speaker and Author on his LinkedIn profile.

Sniedzins also ran for Mayor of Toronto in 2014 and received 104 votes.

Getting the degree

Sniedzins claims he communicated with someone at Kings Lake University over the phone. After sending them proof of his professional and life experience, he discovered he quickly qualified for a degree. He then sent them $8,100.

Sniedzins told CBC Toronto:

To me, that’s the direction that things are going. So I figured these guys were the vanguard of that type of stuff.

Kings Lake University is little more than a website run by the Pakistan-based fake degree mill Axact. 

He said the degree issued by Kings Lake University is based on his previous life experience and professional accomplishments.

Kings Lake University alleges to have more than 100 Axact-linked schools. Schools such as Harvey, Barkley and Nixon University offered a range of educational opportunities that were ready to assist 24/7.

CBC Journalists confirmed the obvious. None of the schools have a physical address. All the faculty photos are stock photographs. The accreditation bodies the websites cite are fake. 

Too good to be true?

Sniedzins said he thought the university was real: 

It felt like they were more legit than the other ones. Their website’s pretty good. And when you phone, you get someone there.

Sniedzins said he paid the $8,100 fee after his experience was “validated” by the university.

Consequently, the university mailed him his Masters degree specializing in technology in education. He also received several other signed and apparently certified documents. He said he even received a graduation cap and gown.

Sniedzins repeatedly told CBC Toronto that he never suspected a degree was fake. He felt a degree based on life experience that required no academic work, studying or exams was in line with his approach to education.

I thought that was great. They should actually have universities that do that.

Sniedzins’ doubts were also eased by what appeared to an affidavit signed by former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry.

 CBC informed Sniedzins all the documents were fake and Sniedzins was shocked.

I really feel stupid if that’s the case and I’m angry about it.

Sniedzins advertises the degree on his personal website. However, he has removed it from his LinkedIn profile. 

Company responds

Axact’s U.S. lawyer, Todd A. Holleman told the CBC:

(The company) does not own or operate any online education websites or schools. There has never been any evidence produced to show that Axact owns or operates any such websites or schools.

Axact calls itself one of the world’s leading IT companies. Yet, according to the United States Department of Justice, the company operates 350 fake schools.

The CBC investigation also revealed there are more than 800 Canadians who could have fake degrees.

 

 

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