Jail for fake skills cards fraudster
A man who made fake construction industry skills cards and sold them online has been jailed for more than three years.
Andrew Weeks was caught following an investigation by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards.
Officers discovered that Weeks was manufacturing construction industry skill cards at his printing firm (Nuneaton Print) and selling them via his website.
He was charged under Section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006 for the production and sale of fake documents and sentenced on 19 October at Warwick Crown Court.
Weeks was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months after pleading guilty to the manufacture of fake documents.
He was also sued by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) for copyright infringement and ordered to pay damages of £6,000.
The investigation was supported with information from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and a number of card schemes including CSCS and the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme (ECS).
Graham Wren, chief executive of CSCS said: “CSCS will always support the authorities to identify and act against those attempting to deceive construction employers. This case also highlights the need for thorough card checks, ideally electronically, to ensure construction workers are who they say they are and have the correct qualifications for the job they do on site.”
Ian Sidney, fraud manager at CITB said: “This sentence shows just how serious construction card fraud is and the lengths that CITB and the whole industry will go to in order to stamp it out. The use of fake cards could easily lead to accidents, injuries or even fatalities where contractors do not have the required skills, training or qualifications. Employers must remain vigilant when checking workers’ documentation and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.”