“Doctor” Faked Qualifications To Land CEO Role

| General

In late summer 2022, the England and Wales Supreme Court handed down its judgment in a case which represents a warning to everyone contemplating using fraudulent statements and false claims on their curriculum vitaes, resumes and covering letters about qualifications they had purportedly achieved to seek employment in senior positions. 

What Happened In The Case?

The case facts coalesced around a person who had seemingly applied to a Somerset-based hospice named St Margaret for the coveted Chief Executive Officer position. In the application documentation he claimed to have:

  • dishonestly made representations that he had achieved a PhD from Plymouth University
  • accrued the correct qualifying work experience to enable him to have the competencies, skills, and experiences required and 
  • extraordinarily demanded that staff members, colleagues, and team members should address him with the title of ‘Doctor’.

Following his use of deceptive statements to mislead and persuade the respective employer to hire him he held the post for around eleven years from around 2004 to 2015. Unbelievably, the Chief Executive underwent regular assessments from his employer and they seemingly never once did they suspect that the person now occupying the position did not have the claimed Ph.D., had not gained the requisite amount of work experience, and had consistently and frequently been assessed as meeting the requirements of the role from a performance, capability and competence perspective.

Doctor Strikes Again

Many have seemingly gotten away with duping an employer into recruiting them into an executive position and such persons would decide to cut their losses, not push their luck and move on with their lives. However, this was not the decision that was taken in this matter. After leaving his role with the Somerset-based Hospice in around 2015 after a decade of service, the person at the center of the proceedings appears to have re-surfaced having put forward just as dishonest representations to land a role as a director and quickly achieved promotion to the post of Chairperson with a Cornwall based National Health Service provider.

What Did The Court Of Appeal Say?

 When the case meandered its way to the Court of Appeal the panel of judges declined to order the confiscation of the monies earned as a result of the fraudulent misrepresentations. The panel of judges did not hand down the confiscation order because on the evidence they found such an order to be out of proportion. 

Doctor In Trouble…

Based on the evidence presented by the Crown against him, the legal professional seemingly felt like he had run out of the road and pleaded guilty to the charges against him. To make an example of him the judge imposed a custodial prison sentence of twenty-four months and attempted to confiscate his entire post-tax income for the duration he was dishonestly employed in. 

Learning the Lessons

Everybody contemplating applying for jobs should be reading this case with great interest and cross-referencing it with the guidance issued by the regulator on the standards of behaviour expected when applying for jobs. They should:

  • make verifiable statements about their qualifications, universities attended and their work experience on the respective curriculum vitae, resume and cover letters 
  • maintain their professionalism and 
  • not fraudulently referring to themselves as a Doctor or other title 
  • be mindful that there is the likelihood of being exposed to a substantial costs order recouping the wages earned as a result of the fraud 

 If legal professionals do so it will reduce the risk of events like this taking place and lower the probability of finding themselves in the dreaded position of being called to account by the SRA. 


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[SOURCE 1] Hyde, John – CV fraudster must repay some wages, Supreme Court rules – Law Society Gazette - 18 August 2022 - CV fraudster must repay some wages, Supreme Court rules | News | Law Gazette

[SOURCE 2] R v Andrewes – Case ID: 2020/0166 – The Supreme Court - R v Andrewes - The Supreme Court

[SOURCE 3] Regina v Jon Andrews – [2020] EWCA Crim 1055 - England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions - Andrewes, R. v [2020] EWCA Crim 1055 (07 August 2020) (bailii.org)

Section 6(5) Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

[SOURCE 4] Section 16 (1) Theft Act 1968

[SOURCE 5] Fraud Act 2006



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