Time to lift the lid on another diploma mill, the people behind it, and the distinguished citizens upon whom it has conferred its prestigious awards.

Lincoln University, CCIBA and AKMA
24 May 2010

Time to lift the lid on another diploma mill, the people behind it, and the distinguished citizens upon whom it has conferred its prestigious awards.

Lincoln University, Inc. (LincolnU) was incorporated in Louisiana, USA on 14-Nov-1990. It has no accreditation recognised by the US Department of Education. Its last known address is care of J. Gregory Wyrick (Mr Wyrick), a CPA and tax lawyer at Chaffe McCall, a New Orleans law firm. Here's his biography. Only one officer of LincolnU is listed, Guenther Ernst Wolf (Mr Wolf), of Yangon/Rangoon, Myanmar/Burma. There's a picture of him on a society page of the government-run Myanmar Times.

According to a page on MyanmarTraining.com, Mr Wolf is also the Principal of Stamford City Business Institute (Stamford City), Yangon, which is part of the group of Serge Pun and Associates. The Senior Training Consultant is Suzanne Pun. Serge Pun is Chairman and CEO of Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd (Yoma, SGX:Z59), listed in Singapore.

International recognition, in the mirror

Stamford City offers a Lincoln University MBA. It says that LincolnU is accredited by the Council of International Management Standards (CIMS). Guess what? CIMS was incorporated in Louisiana on 6-Feb-2004, and its agent and only officer is Mr Wyrick. CIMS is a bogus accreditation body, a shell with no web presence.

 Stamford City also says LincolnU has gained recognition for its degrees from the following international bodies:

Sounds impressive, doesn't it? Not when we tell you how these bodies are related to each other:

LincolnU has a web site, the domain of which, lincolnu-edu.us, is registered to someone who uses the "administrator" e-mail address at AKMA. What a giveaway. The LincolnU site has a message from the President - none other than Mr Wolf, and makes the same claims about recognition by the 5 entities named above.

CCIBA has a web site at cciba.ca, which is registered to Mr Liao in HK, also using an AKMA e-mail address. Apart from a mailing address in Canada, it has no visible presence in the country. The mailing address at 203-11240 Bridgeport Road, Richmond, British Columbia used to be the office of an accountant, Dennis Wong, and has also been a restaurant. We don't know what is there now. If you live in Vancouver, do us a favour and go and look inside at Unit 203. Here's the Google street view.

AKMA is the "Certification Body" for CCIBA Fellowship, according to an application form on the CCIBA site. According to the site, the Vice President of CCIBA, Professor Richard Olesen (Prof Olesen), visited HK in Dec-2006. He was the Dean of the School of Business at Camosun College, Victoria, British Columbia. Prof Oleson has many hats. According to the AKMA site, at a ceremony on 21-Jan-2010, Prof Olesen conferred honorary awards as "Honorary Chancellor of Lincoln University". At an earlier ceremony on 20-Sep-2009, Lincoln University was represented by its "Vice President of Lincoln University" Dr Sushant Deb PhD. We cannot find any trace of him, unless this is him, an aviation security consultant. That person certainly has a lot of degrees, but doesn't say which institutions issued them.

AKMA's web site lists LincolnU as one of its partners, again mentioning how it has the "international recognition" of the 5 related entities we mentioned above. The Life Honorary President of AKMA is toy tycoon Francis Choi Chee Ming, GBS. We wrote about Choi's Choice of Degrees on 21-Nov-2007. His wife, Margaret Choi Lee Wai Lai, is one of three Honorary Presidents of AKMA. Executive Councillor Cheng Yiu Tong, GBS is another. Mrs Choi also has a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Newport University, USA (the diploma mill from which her husband has an MBA) and Honorary Fellowship of CCIBA, according to her Po Leung Kuk biography.

One of the most entertaining things about this story is that AKMA/CCIBA has actually uploaded its 2006 and 2008 award ceremonies onto YouTube, so you too can share their joy. We don't know what it costs to take part, but you get the full works - gown mortar board, bagpipes, national anthems and all.

According to AKMA's coverage of the CIBA award ceremonies, they've also managed to rope in some senior figures at real universities in HK as awardees, including Liu Liang, the Dean of Chinese Medicine at HK Baptist University (awarded "Honorary Fellowship"), and Lui Sun Wing, a Vice President at PolyU (awarded "Honorary Professorship"). Indeed, HKBU even mentioned the award in its magazine.

University of St Louis, Lousiana?

Kudos to the Louisiana State government for having a proper companies registry where you can search the officers online for free. HK still only has a pay-per-view approach which is, frankly, crappy. Louisiana allows us to tell you that Mr Wyrick, the registered agent of LincolnU, CIMS, ICAA and AIAP, is also the registered agent of "University of St Louis Inc", which was incorporated in Louisiana on 27-Nov-1990 and is now inactive after "Action by Secretary of State", with its last report filed 16-Oct-1995. The officers of that were Aylwn (probably Aylwin) Chan Wing Tat, Mimi Shum Lai Fong and Daniel Lau Ka Fai, each of HK. There is an Aylwin Chan Wing Tat who in 2007 was a senior manager with the Hospital Authority, according to an article in the HK Standard. St Louis, the city, is, of course, in Missouri, not Louisiana. Perhaps they gave doctorates in geography, but as far as we can tell, this bogus university was never used in action.

The awards

So, who has been receiving these awards from the AKMA and its related bodies, CCIBA and LincolnU? Here's a quick rundown of those we can find. If we have missed you, we apologise, but you know who you are!

Honorary baloney

If it were possible to earn a degree in the science of creating organisations to satisfy people's craving for recognition by awarding honours and qualifications, then the people behind LincolnU, CCBA and AKMA would certainly deserve one. We hereby award them unaccredited, honorary Webb-site doctorates in bogusology.

© Webb-site.com, 2010

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