Former Temple Business School Dean has been sentenced on charges related to school ranking scandal
Moshe Porat has been sentenced to 14 months in prison on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
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Moshe Porat, former dean of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, received his sentencing on Friday.
Faced with 25 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 after being convicted of federal wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges, Morat was given 14 months in prison, three years supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.
The reason given for his light prison sentence was his age and health, as well as the health of his wife, of whom he is the primary caregiver.
Porat was convicted in November 2021 of these charges for his role in the ranking scandal at Temple’s Fox School of Business. In January 2018, it came to light that Porat and other staff members were submitting false data to U.S. News & World Reports in an effort to bolster Fox’s ranking. The school’s online MBA program was ranked number one and the professional MBA program was ranked 7th. Due to these rankings, the school saw a boost in enrollment — including double enrollment between 2014 and 2017 — and an increase in money from donors.
Since the scandal, the online MBA’s ranking has gone down to 100th and the professional MBA has gone down to 41st, respectively.
Porat was fired in July 2018, after more than two decades leading the school. He filed a defamation lawsuit against Temple and accused the university of scapegoating him. The lawsuit is still on hold due to his indictment and conviction.
His co-conspirators Marjorie O’Neill, former senior director of graduate enrollment at Fox, and Issac Gottlieb, former statistical science professor, both pled guilty and will be sentenced in May. They face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and a fine of $500,000.
Following the sentencing, Temple released a statement.
“We respect the justice system and the judge’s sentencing decision made today. With this chapter now closed, both Temple University and the Fox School of Business will continue to focus on delivering the best possible outcome for students. We are thoroughly committed to providing a student-centered education and professional development opportunities that are relevant to the digital, global economy of the future,” it read.