David Scott has been jailed for 12 months after admitting a charge of “fraud worth £54,564.09 by false representation”. The fraud relates to his submission of a false CV when he applied for the £120,000-a-year position of managing director at Darlington-based Mech-Tool Limited.
Mr Scott’s CV not only claimed that he held three degrees – when he didn’t in fact have any – but he also claimed to be the author of a noted academic paper relating to the engineering industry, which was perhaps the main reason he was offered the position. The paper had actually been written by a US academic with the same name.
Amongst the degrees he falsely claimed to hold were a first-class honours in petroleum engineering, and a Masters in Business Administration.
His deceit was uncovered within three months of starting work at Mech-Tool, where he was charged with overseeing contracts in Kazakhstan that were worth millions of pounds. His colleagues began to have concerns about his competence and commenced an investigation into his background.
Passing sentence, Judge Peter Armstrong said:
“This was not just claiming an extra GCSE or A level. This was fraud at the highest end of CV falsehood.
“How you thought you were going to get away with this is difficult to imagine.
“You were asked to produce a strategic plan, which I have read, and it is quite clear you were simply not up to the job.
“Fortunately for this company they became suspicious and made enquiries and discovered your fraudulent job application.
“Whether people have a tendency to lie on their CVs is not for this court to comment on, but where deliberate fraud is perpetrated the court has to follow the guidelines as to its effect.
“This was highly paid employment: £120,000, a car allowance, help with accommodation, it was a package which put you very high up in the commercial world and you have deprived someone else of that job for that time.”
Most people who tell ‘white lies’, or more brazen fibs, on their job applications will not end up in jail. However, anyone tempted to lie on their CV should be aware that they may be committing a criminal offence.