Construction skills card fraudster jailed
A man who manufactured and sold fake construction industry skill cards has been jailed for more than three years.
Online trader Andrew Weeks was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court for offences under the Fraud Act. Weeks was caught following an investigation by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards.
Officers discovered that he was manufacturing construction industry skill cards at his printing firm and selling them via his website.
Weeks was sentenced to three years, eight months after pleading guilty to the manufacture of fake documents.
The investigation was supported with information from the Construction Industry Training Board and a number of card schemes including the Construction Skills Certification Scheme and the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme.
CSCS cards provide proof that individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications for the type of work they carry out. The Scheme keeps a database of people working in construction who have achieved or are committed to achieving a recognised construction related qualification.
Graham Wren, Chief Executive at CSCS said: “This is another example of the industry working together to tackle card fraud.
“This case 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.
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.”
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