Williams College abruptly canceled a return visit by the Congressional Black Caucus on Friday, just days after discovering its organizer was in hot water in Washington.
Visiting political science professor Bernard Moore turns out to be Ernest B. Moore, whose trail of fraud goes back nearly a quarter century. He admitted Tuesday in federal court of taking more than $800,000 over the past five years in credit card and student aid fraud. Moore had 90 (!) fake credit cards.
The Williams Record did a terrific job of digging into Moore's past here. Moore, who came across as a personable sort when we talked to him last year, apparently has real academic degrees - just under fake names.
Moore's been teaching in the political science and African Studies programs for two years and was instrumental in bringing the Congressional Black Caucus to Williams last year. The roundtable discussion packed Chapin Hall; Gov. Deval Patrick was there as well.
In an e-mail sent early Friday afternoon, the college's public affairs office said:
"The symposium with members of the Congressional Black Caucus scheduled for Monday, Nov. 16, has had to be postponed. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the College will reschedule a similar event on campus in the near future."
Moore's been suspended indefinitely (his bio is still posted here) and faces up to 41 months in prison when he's sentenced in February.
Update 11/14/2009: A reader sends us this link from the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Education, which seems to indicate Moore never actually earned a bachelor's degree.
Update 11/16/2009: The Ephblog has also been digging into Moore's past and the current situation at Williams, where posters say his names been removed from his office door but that the rules in the faculty handbook say he may still be getting paid under the current suspension.
One poster on the Ephblog also says pictures of Moore are scarce as hen's teeth. We've posted a portrait shot and here's one of him with Jim Brown taken recently by our eagle-eyed photographer Paul Guillotte:
Update 11/17/2009: Professor Moore was fired effective Monday, Nov. 16, according to a letter to the Williams community. Interim President William Wagner said their was no evidence Moore had serioulsy misused college resources.
Update Nov. 26, 2009: The Williams Record talks with some of Moore's students, who describe a disengaged instructor with a tendency to name drop but who also was a helpful mentor to some.