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Article: Fraudster who lied about education on CV to land £120,000-a-year oil exec job is jailed

Date: 13 December 2017
Source: The Sun

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.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told Teesside Crown Court: ‘In 2016 Mech-Tool won two multi million pound contracts and their director Marshall Garner decided the time had come when he wanted to employ a full time Managing Director, a role he had filled in part time in the past.

‘An advert was placed for the post which had a £120,000 salary, bonuses and other benefits. It stated that the person who filled the requirements must have a good engineering degree and business school qualification.

‘The defendant responded and sent in his CV. He appeared to fill the criteria due to his 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.

‘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.’

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 that had the firm not promptly discovered his deceit it could have cost them the contracts worth millions, which in the event were paid late because of his blundering.

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.

The court heard that Scott gained his engineering experience after joining the Army at a junior rank and used his knowledge to start working in geo-structural engineering in the Middle East.

He held several positions but found himself struggling to make a living when he was expelled from Libya by the Gaddafi regime.

After his divorce his ex wife kept most of the proceeds from their marital home and he began living off the capital, which had quickly dwindled.

The judge said that he took his service record into consideration and also that he had gone through the trauma of seeing colleagues killed whilst working in the Middle East.

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.’

He added: ‘You may think he is very unlikely to darken the door of a court again. He is not a threat of harm to any member of the public and is at risk of harm himself.’

He said any prison Scott was sent to would be put on notice that he was at risk of harming himself.

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

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