Call it the low-hanging fruit of corporate chicanery.

No, I'm not talking about the penny stocks I routinely pan under my alter ego TMFSmashy over in Motley Fool CAPS. Although uncovering bulletin-board-listed companies with billion-dollar market caps and next to no assets is fairly satisfying, I'm talking about nailing corporate execs for claiming false academic credentials. Pretty much all it takes is a phone call to a registrar's office.

The revelations make for great PR, and we've seen a lot of them over the past few years. MGM Mirage (NYSE:MGM), Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL), and RadioShack (NYSE:RSH) come to mind. There was also Herbalife (NYSE:HLF), which introduced an intriguing twist. In that case, ex-con turned corporate-fraud investigator Barry Minkow had purchased put options on the company, which would generate big profits if the share price took a nosedive on the news that the company's COO hadn't really earned an MBA.

Minkow's latest target is Intrepid Potash (NYSE:IPI), whose IPO I took a pass on last April. Minkow alleges that Intrepid's COO hadn't earned his BA or his MS. The company did a quick investigation of its own, and the COO has since resigned. Minkow owns put options on this company as well.

The former fraudster's work is certainly of value. Gussied-up resumes are unacceptable in the business world. I just wish Minkow wouldn't tread so close to the line of impropriety. His high-profile short-selling is reminiscent of the activities we chastised Mark Cuban for engaging in last year. So keep ferreting out those bad apples, Barry -- just don't get carried away with the PR.

Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy keeps any potential conflicts of interest in check.