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Fake degree scam
22 October 2018
ACCA and Middlesex University have cracked down hard on a group of students who all claimed to have been awarded degrees from Middlesex University, when they were all obvious forgeries!
PQ magazine reported in August that in the past year the estimated number of forged degrees for sale has risen by 30%, and ACCA’s latest action shows it is very much on the case.
Some 18 students to date have gone before the ACCA disciplinary committee, all with the cases looking very similar. Of these 17 involved students from Pakistan, and one student from Iraq.
Although each case was investigated and look at separately by the committee, the ACCA acknowledged that these were “a series of similar cases listed in a warned list over a seven day period”.
In most cases students submitted a Middlesex University Bachelor of Arts in Accounting & Finance degree certificate along with a transcript and certificate of credit outlining the grades achieved for each modules. ACCA quickly formed a view that these documents were not genuine and commenced an investigation. A big hint was the fact that the name of the degree was misspelt! At all the hearing the ACCA brought in a conferment and assessment manager for the university who confirmed the documents weren’t genuine.
Interestingly, at one hearing a student admitted they paid 120,000 Rupees to a ‘Mr B’ who helped with exemptions.
The students were found guilty of dishonesty and acting contrary to the fundamental principles of integrity. Most students were removed from the student register and ordered to pay costs to ACCA of £3,000 each. Two students, however, got bigger fines – one for £3,600 and one of £3,900, along with their notice of removal. These could be for aggravating factors. Finally, one student was ordered to pay costs of £6,693.80 and was severely reprimanded.
And, students beware, these weren’t the only recent cases of students using forgeries to gain exemptions that resulted in ACCA disciplinary action.
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