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Wal-Mart heir-head a cheater

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Money couldn't buy her love from the University of Southern California.

Wal-Mart heiress Elizabeth Paige Laurie has returned her USC degree amid allegations that she paid her college roommate $20,000 to do her homework, the university announced.

"Paige Laurie voluntarily has surrendered her degree and returned her diploma to the university," the school said in a statement. "She is not a graduate of USC."

The move came nearly a year after Laurie's roommate, Elena Martinez, told ABC News that the poor little rich girl paid her to write term papers and complete other assignments for the discount-store dunce.

Laurie, 23, the granddaughter of Wal-Mart co-founder Bud Walton, was granted a bachelor's degree in May 2004 by the USC Annenberg School for Communication.

The University of Missouri also stripped her name from its basketball arena last year, which had been called "Paige Sports Arena" thanks to a $25 million donation from her billionaire parents, Bill and Nancy Laurie, the daughter of Walton.

David Andreatta and Post Wire Services

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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