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June 28 2018

Fraudster who Lied About Education on CV to Land £120k Oil Exec Job is Jailed

A £120,000-a-year oil executive has been jailed for lying about his academic qualifications on his CV.  David Scott, 48, was sentenced to 12 months in jail after inventing three degrees and awarding himself a first-class honours in petroleum engineering.

He also claimed to have written the acclaimed academic paper: Nonparametric Regression For Analysis Of Complex Surveys And Geographic Visualisation.  Scott was taken on as managing director of Mech-Tool, a thriving engineering company in Darlington, County Durham, last June.

Among his responsibilities was overseeing two multi-million pound contracts in Kazakhstan.  Judge Peter Armstrong told him: 'Whether people have a tendency to lie on their CV is not for this court to comment on.'   

The firm - a world leader in heat and blast protection in the oil and gas sector - paid him a basic salary of £120,000, a resettlement package, a £10,000 car allowance and bonuses.  The deal placed him 'high up in the commercial world'.

But within three months his colleagues realised that Scott was woefully out of his depth and began their own investigation into his background.  Mech-Tool founder Marshall Garner, 66, discovered that Scott was a fraud who had gone into engineering after joining the army at a junior rank and had never held an executive post in his life.  He also traced the academic paper back to Dr David W Scott, an American professor with the same name as Scott but with an impressive array of genuine qualifications.

Scott claimed to have a Masters in business administration from Heriot-Watt, a Master of Science in petroleum engineering from Imperial College and a Bachelor of Science in Service Science from Imperial College.  The decisive factor was the academic paper, which appeared to prove that Scott, of Stainton, near Middlesbrough, was one of the finest engineering brains in the world.

But when the firm arrived in Kazakhstan their efforts were disastrous, with its staff following a strategic plan drawn up by Scott which the judge said showed he was 'quite clearly not up to the job'.  Judge Armstrong said: 'How you thought you were going to get away with this is difficult to imagine.  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".  The judge added: 'This was not just claiming an extra GCSE or A level, this was fraud at the highest end of CV falsehood.'

He said it was high culpability deliberate fraud and dismissed a probation service recommendation that the sentence should be suspended, sentencing Scott, who was of previous good character, to 12 months in jail.  

Simon Perkins, for Scott, said: 'We accept he was entirely criminally wrong to fabricate his CV. He has no degree, he was a relatively junior soldier who trained as a surveyor and had the facility to use his GPS surveying knowledge and go into geo surveying.'

Scott admitted one count of fraud by false representation to a value of £54,564 between June and August last year.