Con Man Gets Job as Bank CEO

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Somebody didn’t do their homework…

A London man was able to gain employment as the Deputy CEO of a Middle Eastern bank after a headhunting firm located his fictitious resume online.  His resume claimed degrees from both Harvard and Oxford as well as long term employment at one of the world’s top financial institutions – J.P. Morgan.  The headhunters forwarded the resume to their client who promptly interviewed and hired the fraudster.  It was only after they had flown him to the Middle East to meet their wealthiest clients that they discovered his lies.

A few simple inquiries into this person’s past prior to a job offer would have saved this bank a little bit of money and a lot of embarrassment.

Fraudster conned his way to top bank job

A conman used a fake CV to trick his way into becoming the £165,000-a-year deputy chief executive of a City investment bank, a court heard.

By Paul Cheston, Courts Correspondent – London Evening Standard – 1/31/2011

Peter Gwinnell, 49, posted a résumé online which claimed he had degrees from Oxford and Harvard and had worked for JP Morgan for 20 years.

The fake was enough to convince City headhunters Connaught Partners to put him in touch with Ahli United Bank, which was looking for a new deputy chief executive, in the autumn of 2009. Gwinnell played the role of senior banker so well that after two interviews he was appointed to the job.

He worked for a month, flying out to the Middle East several times to meet wealthy clients and collecting £14,500 in salary. It was only when Ahli ran extra checks that it realised Gwinnell’s story was a lie.

In reality he was a convicted conman who had served six months in prison in the Nineties and had not attended either university, or worked at JP Morgan. Gwinnell, of Harrow, admitted a single count of fraud and was handed a 50-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, at Southwark crown court. Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC spared him an immediate jail term after hearing he had already spent 12 weeks in custody on remand, and was suffering from serious depression.

The judge instead ordered Gwinnell to complete 100 hours of unpaid work, 18 months of supervision with a probation officer and to continue to undergo treatment for his depression.

He also banned him from uploading a CV onto the internet without the court’s permission. Sentencing, he told Gwinnell: “Somehow or other you managed to convince Connaught Partners that you were a suitable candidate for employment by the bank.

“This offence was deliberately planned, and it caused loss, but also no doubt much trouble and aggravation, and quite obviously embarrassment to the bank who determined that you were suitable for employment.”

The court heard that even after Gwinnell was questioned by police, he sent a fraudulent CV to a Swiss bank before withdrawing the job application.

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