Mina M and Susi S, two students with different last names (but from the same minority group) were in the same 4-person group in my Summer School class. One or both often missed class, both failed the mid term, and not surprisingly, near the end of the semester, the other two members of the group asked me to intervene.
I met with the group and politely pointed out that everyone needed to pull their weight on a group assignment, and if they were not able to, they had the option of working on a downsized individual assignment instead. The next thing I knew, my Chair called me in to tell me that Mina M had filed an official complaint of racial discrimination against me (with the University ombudsman no less), with Susi S providing a supporting statement as evidence.
You can imagine the countless hours of meetings I had with Chair, Dean, Mediator and Ombudsman. I was a new professor and was terrified. After many sleepless nights, I finally given a copy of the complaint. A close reading of Mina M's statement revealed that my crime was: I had treated her exactly like everyone else!! Because she was minor royalty in her tiny homeland nation (on the lines of a cousin of a nephew of Queen XXX) , she believed was entitled to be treated "as a royal" and should have been given special concessions on the group work. She believed I had discriminated against her by not treating her as royalty.
The kicker: The mediator mentioned that the way the complaint was worded seemed awfully familiar. It turned out that Mina M and Sally S were MOTHER and DAUGHTER and that they had pulled this scam multiple times before- they would take turns with one complaining and the other providing the evidentiary statement. In each previous case, the professor had passed them in return for them withdrawing the complaint. Fortunately, the ombudsman dismissed the complaint, after the mediator provided the evidence of multiple scams by this pair.
Never again - as a result of this, our Faculty now has an unofficial register of such incidents/complaints so Professors can cross-check to see if this is a one-off or a scam.
Q: What's the most audacious scam one of your students has ever attempted?