Louisiana Print Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Printing Fake Diplomas, Transcripts, Certificates
HARVEY, La. — January 5, 2017 — Bobby Lowe, owner of Superior Printing located here, faces up to five years in prison, a fine up to $250,000 and supervision following prison for producing false documents for his customers, according to an article in The Times-Picayune.
The 66-year-old printer pleaded guilty on Tuesday to printing fake GED certificates, phony transcripts and diplomas, and then selling them to people seeking admission to college and looking for financial aid, the newspaper reported based on court documents. For the financial aid scheme, Lowe was charged for one felony count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Lowe reportedly admitted to investigators in December 2013 that he printed the documents for his customers and that he was aware that some had then used the phony documents to apply to college and to seek jobs.
Lowe also supplied a fake printed return envelope with the GED transcripts. According to The Times-Picayune, the return address on the envelope was listed with a return address for the Louisiana Department of Education and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, which oversees Delgado Community College and similar state two-year institutions. The paper indicated that court records showed that Lowe would ask customers to then mail the fake documents to Delgado Community College from Baton Rouge, so the postmark would match the return addresses.
Several examples of the scheme were also noted by the newspaper, in reference to the court documents. In one case, a customer allegedly paid $35 for a fake GED diploma and $20 for a GED transcript and an envelope, while another customer paid $60 for a fake high school diploma, transcript and envelope. The depth of the scheme was further unraveled in November 2013 when an undercover agent paid Lowe $55 for a fake high school diploma, transcript and envelope, The Times-Picayune said.
Sentencing for Lowe has reportedly been set for April 10, 2017.