Here's the abstract of a paper by two professors at Emory University School of Law, provocatively titled "Law Deans in Jail":
"A most unlikely collection of suspects - law schools, their deans, U.S. News & World Report and its employees - may have committed felonies by publishing false information as part of U.S. News' ranking of law schools. The possible federal felonies include mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, racketeering, and making false statements. Employees of law schools and U.S. News who committed these crimes can be punished as individuals, and under federal law the schools and U.S. News would likely be criminally liable for their agents' crimes.
Some law schools and their deans submitted false information about the schools' expenditures and their students' undergraduate grades and LSAT scores. Others submitted information that may have been literally true but was misleading. Examples include misleading statistics about recent graduates' employment rates and students' undergraduate grades and LSAT scores.
U.S. News itself may have committed mail and wire fraud. It has republished, and sold for profit, data submitted by law schools without verifying the data's accuracy, despite being aware that at least some schools were submitting false and misleading data. U.S. News refused to correct incorrect data and rankings errors and continued to sell that information even after individual schools confessed that they had submitted false information. In addition, U.S. News marketed its surveys and rankings as valid although they were riddled with fundamental methodological errors."
From the paper's conclusion:
"It could be that none of these acts are crimes. But the evidence of possible crimes is sufficiently compelling, the relevant federal statutes have been applied so expansively, and the harm done for many years to thousands of people has been so severe, it should not be hard to recognize the need for investigations by federal authorities to determine whether crimes have been committed. This is not a game."
HT: Fred Dent