Former Fox dean sentenced to 14 months in prison

The sentencing comes months after Moshe Porat was found guilty of conspiracy and wire fraud in November.

Moshe Porat, former dean of the Fox School of Business will serve 14 months in federal prison for conspiracy and wire fraud. | AMBER RITSON / THE TEMPLE NEWS.

Moshe Porat, former dean of the Fox School of Business, was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison for leading the school’s scheme to falsify data submissions to U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings from 2014 to 2018. 

Porat also must pay a $250,000 fine and $200 special assessment fine immediately. Once released from prison, he will serve three years of probation and must complete 300 hours of community service. He must report to prison by May 9, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

U.S. District Judge Gerald Pappert said Porat threw away his career and reputation, harming many of the students he claimed to care about and the school he was so dedicated to.

Temple respects the court’s sentencing decision, wrote Stephen Orbanek, a spokesperson for the university, in a statement to The Temple News. 

“With this chapter now closed, both Temple University and the Fox School of Business will continue to focus on delivering the best possible outcomes for our students,” Orbanek wrote.

Fox misreported data about the number of applicants who submitted test scores, grade point averages, program acceptance rates and student debt, according to an independent investigation from Jones Day, an international law firm. 

Porat’s trial began on Nov. 9 at the James A. Byrne Courthouse on Market Street near 6th and ended with the jury’s guilty verdict on Nov. 29, charging him with conspiracy and wire fraud.

The prosecution, led by United States attorneys Mark Dubnoff and Nancy Potts, called 13 witnesses in total including several present and former Fox administrators, two former Fox students, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and the chair of Jones Days’ investigations and white-collar defense practice. 

Porat’s defense lawyers, Michael Schwartz and Richard Zack from Troutman Pepper, called 10 witnesses, including former Fox professors, students and a family friend, to the stand to speak on Porat’s character. 

“I know there’s bad, but there’s also a lot of good,” Schwartz said, when discussing Porat’s charismatic character during his closing statement.

Marjorie O’Neill, Fox’s former senior director of graduate enrollment, and Issac Gottlieb, a former statistical science professor, were also indicted for their role in the scheme, and pled guilty on May 25 and June 3, respectively. Their sentencings are scheduled for May, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

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