Focus reported that the professors from a dozen German universities took payments of between 4,000 and 20,000 euros ($5,700 and $28,600) to grant doctorates to students.
and it gets seedier. There is apparently an intermediary company...
The magazine said the investigation was launched after the offices of the private Institute for Scientific Counseling at Bergisch-Gladbach near Cologne were searched in March.
The institute reportedly acted as a facilitator between the students and the academics.
The head of the institute was sentenced to three and a half years in prison early last year for acting as an intermediary in the case of a Hanover law professor who helped students obtain a degree in exchange for financial or sexual favors.
Whut? "sexual favors"? ooooo.
Well, I'm sure the students deserved their degrees, no harm no foul, right?
The professor at Hannover University was found guilty of taking bribes worth 184,000 euros ($264,000) through the Institute, and organizing degrees for 61 students whose exam results weren't up to scratch.
The professors are said to have renovated houses, bought cars and taken expensive holidays with the proceeds of their "supervision".
Hundreds of students were involved. The allegation is that the company paid the kickbacks to professors and it remains unclear whether the students knew what was going on.
They were told simply that paying the money would "go a long way to ensuring their Ph.Ds were in the bag," said Mr Feld.