An online trader, who fraudulently manufactured and sold fake construction industry skill cards, has been jailed for more than three years.
Fraudster, Andrew Weeks, was investigated by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards, after their officers discovered he had been printing construction industry skill cards which he then brazenly offered for sale on his website.
Weeks pleaded guilty to the manufacture of fake documents at Warwick Crown Court and was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months in prison.
The Trading Standards investigation was supported with information jointly provided by the Construction Industry Training Board, the Construction Skills Certification Scheme and the Electro Technical Certification Scheme.
Graham Wren, Chief Executive at CSCS said: “This is another example of the industry working together to tackle card fraud.
“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.”
Weeks was also sued by CSCS for copyright infringement and ordered to pay damages of £6,000.
Samantha Randall, a Solicitor with Palmers, who specialises in employment law, said: “The lengthy custodial sentence handed down by the judge highlights how severely the law views construction card fraud.
“Employing someone who presents a fake construction skills card means that they may not have the required skills, training or qualifications.
“This in turn could mean an increased risk of a serious workplace accident or fatality which not only endangers the life of the individual concerned but also their fellow workers and members of the public.
“Employers have a duty of care to ensure that all workers’ documentation, including their skill cards, are carefully checked as a failure to do so could lead to them also being liable in the event of an untoward incident.”
Palmers Solicitors specialise in advising employers on all aspects of employment law. To find out more, please contact us.