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Former Temple Business School Dean Convicted of Fraud After Scheme to Inflate School Rankings

A former dean of Temple University's Richard J. Fox School of Business and Management (Fox) has been convicted of fraud on the charge that he knowingly deceived the school’s applicants, students, and donors into believing that the school offered top-ranked business degree programs to boost enrollment and donations, announced United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier William.

Dr. Moshe Porat, 74, who was dean from 1996 until 2018, was charged by indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud in April 2021. According to the case, Porat was involved in a multi-year conspiracy in which he and two other Fox professors, Isaac Gottlieb and Marjori O'Neill, submitted false information to U.S. News &World Report about the school's online MBA and part-time MBA programs in order to inflate the school's rankings in the publication's annual survey.Moshe PoratMoshe PoratTemple University

Their scheme proved successful — as a result, U.S. News had ranked the school's online MBA as number one in the country for four years in a row (2015-2018) and the part-time MBA program moved up from 53th place in 2014 to 7th place in 2017. According to Williams' office, "Porat boasted about these rankings in marketing materials directed at potential Fox students and donors" and "enrollment in Fox’s OMBA and PMBA programs grew dramatically in a few short years, which led to millions of dollars a year in increased tuition revenues."

“This case was certainly unusual, but at its foundation it is just a case of fraud and underlying greed," stated Williams. "We respect the jury’s verdict and thank its members for their service.”

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