When doctoring your Resume becomes CV fraud

You can’t have watched the interview stage of The Apprentice without wondering how on earth the candidates thought they might get away with this or that.

The Supreme Court in London recently went a step further in considering the appropriate level of confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in a criminal case relating to an inflated CV.


In 2004, St Margaret’s Hospice advertised for a Chief Executive Officer. A first degree was “essential”, and an MBA “desirable”. Ten years of management experience, with three years in a senior position, were “essential”, with five years in a senior appointment “desirable”.

The Defendant applied, claiming to meet each and all the criteria. This was a lie. His claimed management experience was “either false or inflated”.

He was appointed to the post, where he continued until his fraud was uncovered in 2015. In the meantime, the Defendant also picked up paid roles as Chair of a couple of NHS Trusts.

In 2006, he announced that he had obtained a PhD from Plymouth University and should now be referred to as “Dr.”. Again, this was a lie.

In 2017, the Defendant was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court for obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception and fraud. Taking into account his guilty pleas and mitigation, he got two years’ imprisonment.

The prosecution then sought a confiscation order of almost £650,000 for Defendant’s net salary throughout the period. He had, however, just shy of £100k available, and the judge ordered the confiscation of this amount.

The Court of Appeal overturned the order. The prosecution appealed to the Supreme Court.


Making a confiscation order of the total net earnings would not be proportionate.

This would not take into account the value of the services provided by Defendant. A distinction was drawn with a scenario where the provision of services would have been illegal, for example, an unqualified surgeon. This was not such a case. That said, it would not be acceptable for no confiscation to be made.

…in cv fraud cases, where, focusing solely on the performance of services, the fraudster has given full value for the earnings received… it will normally be disproportionate… to confiscate all the net earnings made. But it will be proportionate to confiscate the difference between the higher earnings made as a result of the cv fraud and the lower earnings that the defendant would have made had he or she not committed the cv fraud.

Per Lords Hodge and Burrows at [56]

The Defendant should be required to give up any “profit” made through his lies, but the value received by the employer in exchange for the salary could not be ignored. The Supreme Court considered a middle way to be appropriate with confiscation in the region of £250k. That said, given the available amount, the original confiscation order was restored.


Perhaps the black cab to You’re Fired! should be replaced with a squad car for season 18. In the meantime, have you reviewed your LinkedIn profile lately?

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