A Seattle man who allegedly offered Illinois residents college degrees advertised as "authentic looking" and requiring "no classes, no studying and no exams" has been charged with fraud by Illinois Attorney General William J. Scott.
Scott yesterday asked the Cook County Circuit Court to permanently enjoin Arch Borque from advertising or selling the degrees through his Great Lakes University.
Clifford L. Meacham, the assistant attorney general who is prosecuting the case, said Borque conducted his Illinois business through a mailforwarding firm here.
The suit charges that Borque violated the Illinois Universities Act by failing to require a period of instruction for his degrees and by failing to obtain authorization from the state superintendent of education for offering the degrees and transcripts.
Borque also is charged with violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. Meacham said that even though Borque's brochures warn that Great Lakes is not accredited, the degrees constitute a fraud on those to whom they may be presented as certification of educational achievement. The suit also asks a $50,000 fine against Borque.
Borque's advertising promised that his degrees - $85 for a bachelor's, $140 for a master's and $195 for a doctorate - cannot be distinguished from those awarded by accredited colleges and universities, Meacham said. It is unknown how many degrees were sold in Illinois since Borque set up shop here last October, he said.