On August 31, 2012, Belford
High School, Belford University and a host of their
co-conspirators were ordered to pay more than $22.7
million to the victims of their scams, a class of more
than 30,000 U.S. residents who were duped into
purchasing fake high school diplomas from Belford. The
judgment established the truth of allegations that
Belford High School and Belford University are fake
schools that do not actually exist.
Belford was also ordered to forfeit the websites used to
perpetrate its scam, including
These scam websites have now been taken down so they can
no longer harm consumers.
These significant developments come as a result of
extensive efforts that have occurred since the case was
filed in November 2009 by The Googasian Firm, P.C., a
Michigan-based law firm appointed by the federal court
to represent the class of more than 30,000 U.S.
residents who were victimized by Belford’s scam. For a
timeline of significant events and rulings relating to
the litigation and Belford High School,
The lawsuit, filed on November 5, 2009, alleged that
Belford High School is an internet scam that defrauds
students of their money. The lawsuit alleged that
Belford High School takes students’ money by offering
them a supposedly “valid” and “accredited” high school
diploma, but that the school is fake and the diplomas
are not valid. The lawsuit alleged that the two
accrediting agencies by which Belford claimed to be
accredited – International Accreditation Agency for
Online Universities and the Universal Council for Online
Education Accreditation – are not legitimate accrediting
agencies. The lawsuit alleged that these two accrediting
agencies, like Belford, are fake. The judgment entered
by the Court confirmed these facts as true. From July
2010 to October 2011, Belford was represented by The
Miller Law Firm of Rochester, Michigan. The Miller Law
Firm opposed class certification on behalf of Belford
during its period of representation, but the Court
rejected the arguments made on behalf of Belford and
certified the case as a class action.
Counsel for the Class of Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are
Thomas H. Howlett and Dean M. Googasian of The Googasian
Firm, P.C., based in Michigan. These attorneys have
served as class counsel to thousands of current and
former students of private and for-profit schools in
multiple class actions. To contact The Googasian Firm
about Belford or any other concern you may have about a
for profit school, you may click here.
The Googasian Firm, P.C. is a law firm that aims to help
those who are victims of unfair, deceptive, and abusive
practices committed by private and for-profit schools.
If you have concerns about a “high school,” trade
school, career school or “college” or “university,” you
may click here to share these
concerns with the law firm.