Diploma mill trial to start for former inmate

Trial scheduled to begin in Winnebago County Circuit Court

A judge is set to consider this week whether a career con man is guilty of setting up a diploma mill from behind bars.

Kenneth Shong has pleaded not guilty to one count of fraud. A three-day trial is scheduled to begin Monday before Winnebago County Circuit Judge Scott Woldt.

State detectives allege Shong convinced his fellow inmates to enroll in Carlingford University, telling them the government in the United Kingdom had authorized the school to grant degrees. Investigators contend the school isn’t chartered in the United Kindgom, though.

Shong’s attorney counters the state’s case is flimsy. He maintains Shong thought the school was set up properly and the case really belongs in small claims court.