HR Manager Caught Lying…The Second Time Around
January 6, 2010
If you lie about your education credentials in the U.K., you’re not only out of the job – you’re going to court too!
An HR Manager re-applying for her position after a company re-organization was found to have falsified her academic accomplishments. She had claimed to be in the process of a completing an HR training course, hold both a HRM degree and a marketing certificate from Oxford Brookes University as well as an advanced marketing certificate from Swindon College. Turns out this wasn’t the case and she has now been given a six month suspended prison sentence, 150 hours of community service and is forced to pay £9,600 in compensation.
I’m guessing a thorough background check wasn’t conducted when she was hired which is why she was able to get away with her lies for the three years she worked for the company.
This story teaches us two things: First, it is important to screen ANY person that may work for your company – high and lower level positions. Dishonesty isn’t exclusive to those with little to no work experience. Second, continually screening your employees is vital to making sure they are keeping on the straight and narrow. You never know what you may find the second time around!
Employers reminded that risk of staff fraud can exist in all layers of management
By Claire Churchard, People Management – January 6, 2009
Employers have been reminded of the risks of employment fraud after Kerrie Devine, an HR manager in Devon, was given a suspended prison sentence for lying about her qualifications.
Devine, a senior NHS human resources manager from Lympstone, was found guilty of lying about her qualifications to Devon Primary Care Trust (PCT) in the course of reapplying for a post after a reorganisation.
Devine was HR manager at East Devon PCT between 2003 and 2006, but when East Devon PCT was dissolved into newly-formed Devon PCT, staff were required to submit expressions of interest in new posts at Devon PCT.
Devine, who was on a lengthy period of sickness absence at the time, was found to have submitted a dishonest application in her expression of interest in March 2007.
She falsely claimed to be part way through a CIPD course and to hold a degree in HRM from Oxford Brookes University. She also falsely claimed to hold a certificate in marketing from the same university, and a Chartered Institute of Marketing advanced certificate from Swindon College.
Exeter Crown Court gave Devine a six-month suspended prison sentence and ordered her to pay £9,600 in compensation. She must also carry out 150 hours of community service. The investigation was carried out by the NHS Counter Fraud Service (CFS).
Debbie Lloyd, south-west operational fraud manager of the NHS CFS, said: “This positive outcome to our investigation is a reminder that fraud against the NHS can be committed by people in well-paid, senior positions.”
David Chernick, senior manager at KPMG Forensic and chairman of anti-fraud body PREFIT, added that the case also illustrated the value of secondary checks on people who had been employed for some time.
He said a second opportunity to check credentials often comes when there are changes to employment contracts. “I predict that many employers will find dishonesty the second time around.
“Credential checks are an important thing for HR to do and if they don’t carry them out then the security guys will increasingly have to take over the responsibility.”
Greg Allen, director of human resources and workforce development at NHS Devon, said: “We believe that the publicity surrounding the court case sends a clear message to people that if you defraud, or attempt to defraud the NHS, you will face the full force of the law.
“Kerrie [Devine] purported to give professional HR advice on the back of qualifications that she did not have. She also went out of her way to cover the tracks of her deception.
“No one should be in any doubt about the message. If you try to deceive the NHS you will be found out and dealt with appropriately.”
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