A construction skills card fraudster has been jailed for more than three years following a police investigation which saw him charged under Section 9 of the Fraud Act 2006 for the production and sale of fake documents.
Online trader Andrew Weeks was caught following an investigation by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards. During the investigation it was discovered that Mr Weeks was manufacturing construction industry skill cards at his printing firm (Nuneaton Print) and selling them via his website. Mr Weeks pleading guilty to the manufacture of fake documents and was sentenced on 19 October at Warwick Crown Court.
The investigation was supported with information from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and a number of card schemes including the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).
Graham Wren, Chief Executive at CSCS said: “This is another example of the industry working together to tackle card fraud. CSCS will always support the authorities to identify and act against those attempting to deceive construction employers. This case also 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.”
Mr 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.”
What to do if you spot a fraudulent card
Employers are urged to conduct regular checks on cards. If you think you know someone using a fraudulent card you should:
- Retain the card if possible
- Make photocopies of front and back
- Record cardholder’s name and address
- Ask the cardholder where the card was obtained from
- Call the local police and report the matter
- Refuse access to site (subject to company rules)
- Forward copies of all evidence to CITB Quality Assurance Team, Building 16, Bircham Newton, King’s Lynn, PE31 6RH, marked ‘SUSPECTED FRAUDULENT CARD’ with details of the crime number given by local police.
- You can also email Report.firstname.lastname@example.org .