Shoaib Ahmed Sheikh

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Shoaib Ahmed Sheikh
Born
Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh

(1971-04-17) April 17, 1971 (age 48)
Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
[1]
OccupationCEO and Chairman at Axact, BOL Network, and Convicted prisoner
Years active
Criminal statusCurrently incarcerated
Spouse(s)Ayesha Shaikh
Conviction(s)
Multiple counts of wire-fraud involving a worldwide diploma mill organization, and obstruction of investigation authorities
Criminal chargeConspiracy of mass wire fraud of manufacturing and selling fake academic degrees
Penalty7 years in state prison, plus 13 years probation and a $5 million fine[3]

Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh (born April 17, 1971) is a Pakistani businessman, fraudster and money launderer who founded diploma mill company Axact.[4][5]

He was arrested on May 19, 2015 after the May 17th edition of The New York Times published an in-depth report exposing the fake degree business.[6] Subsequently, Axact was sealed on May 28, 2015 and the Information ministry requested the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to close down BOL.[6] He was given bail prior to his conviction,[7] the case filed against him on the charges of alleged fraud, extortion, and money laundering.

In July 2018, the court announced a 20-year jail sentence to him along with 22 others regarding the fake degree case,[8] and was subsequently sentenced in September 2018.[9]

Arrest[edit]

Following the publication of the New York Times article, Pakistan's Interior Minister Khizer directed the country's Federal Investigation Agency to begin inquiry into whether the company was involved in any legal business. Following the interior minister’s order, cyber crime team of FIA raided Axact’s office in Karachi and Islamabad and seized computers, recorded statements of employees as well taking into custody 25 employees of the company and 28 employees from Rawalpindi office. The FIA team found and seized several blank degrees as well as fake letterhead of the US State Department. The investigation was transferred from the FIA's cyber crime department to its corporate department. The issue was also taken up in Senate of Pakistan where Chairman of the Senate Raza Rabbani constituted a committee to probe into the issue. Pakistan's tax authorities and the SECP also initiated investigations into the company.[10]

On May 26, 2015, Federal Investigation Agency arrested Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh for investigation. The case was filed against him on May 27, 2015 in Karachi, Pakistan.[11][12]

On September 26, 2018, Shaikh was sentenced to 7 years in prison for the diploma mill conspiracies, along with several other accomplishes.[9][8][3] His wife was acquitted of all charges.

Shaikh holds a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport, which he acquired through the country's citizenship-by-investment program.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Walsh, Declan (10 April 2016). "Behind Fake Degrees from Pakistan, a Maze of Deceit and a Case in Peril". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2017. He became a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis, a small Caribbean island that sells passports to rich investors.
  2. ^ "Axact CEO, 22 others sentenced to 20 years in jail in fake degrees case".
  3. ^ a b "Fake degree scandal: Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh sentenced to 7 years in jail".
  4. ^ "Court indicts Axact CEO, others in money laundering case". 2018-06-20.
  5. ^ "Dailytimes | Behind fake degrees from Pakistan, a maze of deceit and a case in peril". dailytimes.com.pk. 2016-04-11. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
  6. ^ a b "BOL staff observes 'Youm-E-Zulm' today on 27th May | The News Teller". www.thenewsteller.com. Retrieved 2016-08-23.
  7. ^ "Court orders release of Shoaib Shaikh on bail". The News. Sep 2, 2016. Retrieved Sep 2, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Axact CEO, 22 others sentenced to 20 years in jail in fake degrees case". 2018-07-05.
  9. ^ a b "Pakistan jails Axact boss over $140m fake diploma scam".
  10. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/18/world/Asia/fake-diplomas-real-cash-Pakistani-company-axact-reaps-millions-Colombian-barkley.html?_r=0
  11. ^ Imtiaz Ali (2015-05-27). "FIR registered against Axact CEO, six others in fake degree scam". Dawn. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  12. ^ "Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh arrested". Dunya News. May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 27, 2015.