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Report: White House Adviser, NSA Employees Bought Phony College Degrees

A senior military adviser working at the White House and two National Security Agency employees with top-secret security clearances were discovered among a list of nearly 10,000 people who purchased phony college degrees from a Washington state diploma mill, according to documents obtained by the Spokesman Review newspaper.

“William R. Church, a senior military adviser working in the White House, and George Michael Navadel, a U.S. State Department computer systems negotiator, who paid $5,400 for a doctorate in network engineering,” the Spokesman Review reported.

Information on Church could not be found on the White House website. An Internet search about Church’s military career and background also failed to turn up relevant information. A White House spokesperson did not return calls for comment.

The newspaper reported that the Department of Justice refused to publicly release the list once it completed an investigation. The Spokesman Review independently obtained the list of 9,612 individuals, who collectively spent $7.3 million on bogus degrees from a Spokane diploma mill, and posted the information on the newspaper’s website.

“A preliminary analysis of the list by The Spokesman-Review shows 135 individuals with ties to the military, 39 with links to educational institutions and 17 employed by government agencies,” the newspaper reported. “Those numbers were derived from e-mail addresses that are part of the list obtained by the newspaper. However, the exact number of individuals with ties to the military, government and education is believed to be far greater because many of those buyers used their personal e-mail accounts.”

The investigation led to the conviction of eight people for a wide-range of federal crimes.

The Spokesman Review’s investigation found:

“NASA employee Timothy Francis Gorman, who bought an electrical engineering degree using his e-mail account at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to correspond with the diploma mill, and U.S. Department of Health oncology expert Frank S. Govern, who purchased a doctorate in health care administration.”

“National Security Agency employees David W. Barden and Barry A. Hester both bought degrees. Hester, who was a computer Web trainer and designer for the NSA with top-secret clearance, paid $1,187 for an information systems and technology degree, the list shows.

“Eric Gregory Cole, who was a contract employee for the Central Intelligence Agency, paid $3,801 for a degree in information systems management. His top-secret clearance at the CIA was revoked late last year, months after his name was forwarded to the Office of Inspector General, according to one source.”

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1 Response for “Report: White House Adviser, NSA Employees Bought Phony College Degrees”

  1. shari hodges says:

    My ex husband was the Director of Operations of National Virtual Translation Center and has been at NSA for 30 years, with no background check, nobody ever talked to me, he’s a deadbeat, he broke a dozen national security regulations, and he’s still there. I”m actually suing the NSA for giving him a job. He’s supposed to have an MA in Russian, but frankly, I’ve never seen it. I was married to him for 8 years – all he ever did was lie to me. He owes about $200,000 and he deserted our daughter when she was 7. You’re not supposed to even get a clearance if you’re a deadbeat. He was thrown out of Navy security, so I have no idea how he ever got a job at the NSA. You can email me if you like.

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