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Phony HBS Grad Exposed

Harbus-Logo-150x150Ross Michaels imprisoned for fraudulently claiming to be an HBS grad.

It has recently come to the attention of The Harbus that Ross Michaels, a senior partner at a prestigious NYC management consulting firm, has been sentenced to two years in a white collar prison for falsely alleging to be an HBS grad. Having “graduated” HBS in the class of ’92, Ross went on to have a successful career at Spector & Co, a specialist consulting firm infamous for only hiring HBS grads. After a decade parading as an HBS Section X grad, he was finally exposed.

The defense in the trial lacked any material evidence that he ever attended Harvard, or any MBA program for that matter. No professors remember him, the classcard does not include him and there is no photo evidence from Yacht Week. Despite the compelling evidence against him, the jury was almost swayed by Jeff K. Skilling’s unswerving testimony that they were in section together.

Meanwhile, at HBS, senior faculty leaders are now scrambling to establish how Ross successfully hacked Harvard and added his name to the graduation class. One student (Charles, 2017) postulated that this sparked recent changes in HBS leadership. The Dean at Wharton has questioned the legitimacy of the entire HBS alumni network and is calling for a review of all 44,033 members by the university. He stated “who knows who else fooled HBS’ system and are out there making them look like shmucks.” The entire integrity of the Harvard brand across grad schools has been compromised – it will surely be a while until HBS is great again.

Ironically, Ross was also featured as an HBS LCA (an ethics class) protagonist for the classes of ’14 and ’15. Given recent developments, all of those graduating students will be returning in May ’16 for an early reunion to retake an LCA case and revalidate their class credit.

The firm’s reputation is in shatters and may struggle to recover. One student with a summer internship at Spector claimed they were “re-starting the CDP process, in fear of long term reputational risk by association”. The senior partners are desperately trying to salvage their reputations by claiming they had no knowledge of the fraud; however, several high profile clients are not convinced, including Mark Zuckerberg, who is suing for bad guidance on an inflated WhatsApp valuation from non-credible advisors (i.e. individuals who haven’t graduated from Harvard).

Please visit for live updates as this story continues to unravel.


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Established in 1937, The Harbus News Corporation is the independent student news publisher of Harvard Business School.

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April 1, 2016
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