Case of the Day: Larson v. Yoon

The case of the day is Larson v. Yoon (Wash. Ct. App. 2015). Keith and Cynthia Larson sued Kyungsik Yoon after an auto collision in King County, Washington. The Larsons lived there; Yoon was a resident of South Korea. The Larsons sued and sought to serve Yoon with process by service on the Washington secretary of state, as provided by Washington statutes. The secretary of state then mailed the documents to Yoon, again as provided by statute. Yoon sought summary judgment on the grounds that he had not been properly been served. The court denied the motion, and Yoon took an interlocutory appeal.
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The Axact Scandal and Authentication of Diplomas

The New York Times ran a terrific investigative story about Axact. The main claim is that Axact, a Pakistani firm, ran a worldwide diploma mill scam. For what it is worth, Axact has responded to the article, though it’s response focuses mostly on supposed motives and doesn’t appear to directly rebut the claims. In any case, the following part of the story held special interest for me:

A more lucrative form of upselling involves impersonating American government officials who wheedle or bully customers into buying State Department authentication certificates signed by Secretary Kerry.

Such certificates, which help a degree to be recognized abroad, can be lawfully purchased in the United States for less than $100. But in Middle Eastern countries, Axact officials sell the documents—some of them forged, others secured under false pretenses—for thousands of dollars each.

“They would threaten the customers, telling them that their degrees would be useless if they didn’t pay up,” said a former sales agent who left Axact in 2013.

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