So this is disturbing on many levels, but not so on others.
1. I know that people get inflated rank all of the time through the IBJJF or whatever federation they are affiliated with. My instructor know guys who were brown belts when he got his black and now are 2 degrees ahead of him.
2. I have seen that IBJJF now requires 400 for a black belt certificate signed off by a 4th degree black belt, then they charge for stripes there after. They assign degrees after given time all of which I think is fine.
3. I know for a fact the instructor trad has been going on since at least the 90's. My instructor was brought here by a Gracie, was told that the power bill in the apartment he shared was $400 a month in 1994 and then when he figured out he was being screwed he was threatened with immigration and told he wasn't a black belt. He didn't get his certificate till 1996 so the IBJJF doesn't recognize 4 years of being a BB and he should be a 5th not a 4th. Further more when he went to the IBJJF to try to fix this they wanted pictures from tournaments. That seems like reasonable request now but this would have been from the 80's in Rio.
4. The real problem is this, there are way too many voices and way too many egos. There needs to be 1 not for profit ruling body that sticks to a certain set of rules. There is a lot of fuckery, but that is in all sports and ruling bodies. But as much as I love the Gracies and what they have done for martial arts they are mainly about getting paid, which everyone should be. However when you let it influence how you view the world sue your brothers over names, hold secret tests and bunch of the other crazy things that go with no one checking you these things will happen. When you get a blue belt online **** is down hill from there.