By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Connecticut man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Philadelphia to charges of running an international diploma “mill” for nearly a decade.

It’s an ongoing investigation, and this defendant is cooperating.

Federal prosecutor Matthew Hogan told the court the fake diplomas — associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral-level degrees, all from phony universities — came at a price: generally about $500 per degree.

Now, defendant James Enowitch has pleaded guilty to a scheme that authorities say sold thousands of degrees worldwide and took in about $5 million between 2003 and 2012.

“Fake degrees were sold through these different universities as a way to allow others to secure jobs and obtain promotions and raises,” Hogan said.  “And purchasers did in fact use these fake degrees to secure jobs, promotions, and raises.”

Hogan says the defendant, who is cooperating in the ongoing investigation, has also admitted to providing “verification” services to back the phony degrees.