B-School Dean Found Guilty Of MBA Rankings Fraud

Fox Business School Dean Moshe Porat found guilty of conspiracy and wire fraud to cheat business school rankings

Seven days after testifying, a Philadelphia jury took less than an hour to convict Moshe Porat, the former dean of Fox Business School, of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to a report in Philadelphia. inquirer.

The jury of eight women and four men returned to the courtroom today (November 29) to give closing arguments after a long Thanksgiving break. Their guilty verdict—which made Borat quietly shake his head in the courtroom—followed shortly after closing arguments ended.

“He was on top of the world, being hailed as a visionary leader, and a major fundraiser,” Assistant US Attorney Mark Dubnov told the jury during the prosecution’s argument Monday. “But the image the defendant created of himself and of Fox Business School was based on fraud.”

“An unhappy moment for our students and alumni”

The jury agreed. They are convinced by the claim that Borat was the leader of the gang in an attempt to deceive US News & World Report By, among other things, falsely claiming that 100% of incoming online MBA students submitted GMAT or GRE scores even though they knew far fewer actually did. The scheme allegedly led to four consecutive #1 rankings for Fox’s online MBA program. Other data inconsistencies in Fox’s part-time MBA program helped this program emerge in US newsPMBA Ratings. Enrollment rates are up in both programs, and the program has generated $40 million in additional tuition, according to Testimony in Trial.

Assistant US Attorney Mark B. “A lot of people turn to these ratings…to help them make informed decisions about where to go to college, graduate school, and it’s important for people to be completely honest and truthful in the representations they make.”

Borat faces up to 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. He will be sentenced in March inquirer mentioned.

“We respect the justice system and the jury’s decision in this matter,” a Temple University spokesperson said in a statement. “This is an unhappy moment for our students and alumni, but our focus remains on delivering the best possible outcomes for our students.”

Why did not witness PORAT

The case began with jury selection on November 9, and the testimony, opening statements and closing arguments lasted a full seven days. US attorneys took five of those days to present her case, and called more than 10 witnesses at the stand, including seven current and former Temple officials. Borat’s defense called 10 witnesses, a mix of personal friends, Fox colleagues and students, and local business people, over the course of one day. The two sides rested their case on November 22 before the holiday.

Borat never took a stand at trial, but jurors heard something about him. Playing Assistant US Attorney Mark Dubnov A series of clips from video deposits It took more than five days in the summer of 2020. The sediment was part of the borates $25 million defamation lawsuit Against Temple University after his dismissal. in sections, Borat was often antagonistic and grew more irritable with the interlocutors as their questions became more specific.

Whether or not to testify is a decision that depends solely on the defendants, but is usually made with the advice of their attorney. Defense attorney Michael Schwartz refused to answer Poets and camouflagedQuestions about why Borat did not testify at this trial. But, based on Borat’s video interviews, his placement on the platform could be risky for several reasons.

Former Fox Dean Moshe Porat

First, while defendants have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, they waive that right if they take the stand voluntarily. This means that Porat would have had to answer the prosecutors’ questions under questioning. US lawyers have already used the videos to show direct inconsistencies with other witness accounts of events as well as inconsistencies in Borat’s own versions. For example, remember borat timing The infamous champagne toast To celebrate the first order changed over the course of several videos as interviewers confronted him with conflicting emails. Furthermore, Porat claims to have promptly directed the staff to correct the false GMAT numbers US news It was directly challenged by four Fox officials who were called as witnesses by the state.

The defense risked Borat becoming turbulent on the stage (as he did in the videos) before the same jurors who would decide his fate.

This is a case of cheating.

The trial began November 9 in the Eastern District of the Pennsylvania Federal Court in Philadelphia. Prosecutors portrayed the former brigadier general as a fearsome boss and a detail manager obsessed with order.

Assistant US Attorney Nancy Potts said in opening arguments that Porat was “uniquely focused, relentlessly focused” on increasing the business school’s position in the national rankings. This unique view permeated the culture of the business school, and Borat tightly controlled the small circle of people tasked with providing rating data to rating entities.

“This is a case of cheating…for money, power and prestige,” Potts told the jury.

He was portrayed by seven of Borat’s former colleagues at Fox as The intimidation of the dean made the staff shiverwho urged his colleague to “Keep a lid on it” As soon as the scandal appears. Among them were other previous witnesses Fox students, former Temple Dean JoAnne Epps, and FBI agent Brian Coughlin, who led the investigation. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Poets & Quants John A. Byrne He was the state’s first witness, testifying as an expert in ratings and business education. (Byrne’s January 2018 story about Fox’s No. 1 ranking drew the attention of Temple officials to the scandal.)

Prosecutors did not summon to the stand former Fox employee Marjorie O’Neill, who was named repeatedly throughout the trial in direct cross-examination and cross-examination of numerous state witnesses. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in the case this summer, but said she provided the false numbers at Porat’s direction. Prosecutors likely wanted to avoid harsh defense questioning of a witness who admitted breaking the law and was cooperating with the state.

A man of “absolute integrity”

Fox School of Business at Temple University.

However, the defense asserted that while Porat may have been a demanding president who cared deeply about Fox’s standing, he was a leader who had elevated Fox to a nationally recognized business school over the course of a distinguished 40-year career. They are content that it was O’Neill who provided the inaccurate data to the rating journal, not Borat. Temple University itself fostered a culture of pursuing higher rankings at all costs and did not follow its own checks and balances to prevent the kind of abuse in which O’Neill was involved.

Co-defense attorney Richard Zack said in his opening statement that the question for jurors is not whether Borat deserved to be fired or whether he should have done a better job of preventing O’Neill from providing inaccurate information: “The question is whether the fraud committed. It will show up. Evidence that he did not.”

“It’s not a crime to be a difficult boss…or even to want high ranks,” Zack said.

Friends, students, and 10 colleagues who were called as defense witnesses described Borat as an “inspiration” and a man of “absolute integrity” who loved Temple and Fox Business School.

“I called all the other deans with paperweights. They sat in the chair and did nothing. Just managing. Moshe was a visionary, a forward thinker,” testified Retired Professor Arvind Fatak, Professor Fox. “He would ask people like me, ‘What can I do for business school to get the image it deserves? “

Today’s verdict showed which version Moshe Porat’s jurors found more believable.

More on the temple arrangement scandal

how did that happen: Anatomy of the Business School Rankings Fraud

Jones Day investigation: Temple religion expelled due to arrangement scandal

Indictment: Former B-School Dean Charged with Fraud in MBA Rating Scandal

MBA Rankings: Why business schools are willing to cheat

Trial coverage: Trial begins for Ousted Temple Dean in classification fraud case

Day 1: I paid for good food, but I got McDonald’s: MBA student testifies in fraud trial rating

Day 1: ‘Frightening man’ made staff ‘shivers’: Deputy Dean Temple testifies in fraud trial rating

the second day: Expelled Brigadier General: An innocent mistake caused B-School to be kicked out of the ranking

Day 3: College ethics chapter pushed Temple Fox Staffer to correct reported inaccurate statements US news

the fourth day: Trying out an independent probe, Temple Fox Dean tells Dean ‘If you’re in a hole, don’t dig’

Day 5: Fraud Prosecution Ranking: Fox Dean promoted a book in the wake of disorganization

the sixth day: Ousted Fox Dean Wanted An app that will make his messages ‘disappear’

Day 7: Prosecution and defense break in the case of fraud in the MBA classification

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