Updated: Monday, 10th December 2018 @ 4:16pm

Legal Eagle: Can you go to prison for lying on your CV?

Legal Eagle: Can you go to prison for lying on your CV?

It’s so easy to do.

Just fiddle a little detail here, tell a slight fib here, a porky there and all of sudden you find your feet under a desk in the first day of your brand new job.

But you have just committed a crime and could soon be starting your first day elsewhere – in prison.

What is the law around lying on your CV?

Does it really class as fraud and are you likely to face severe penalties in the unlikely event of being caught out? 

And does this apply to any kind of lie on there and any kind of job you apply for?

Olliers Solicitors are on hand to provide the answer.

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To the Legal Eagle,

Please can you answer this question: What is the law around lying on your CV? Does it really class as fraud and are you likely to face severe penalties in the unlikely event of being caught out? 
And does this apply to any kind of lie on there and any kind of job you apply for?
Thank you. 

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The law relating to lying on an individual's CV is contained within the Fraud Act 2006 and would be considered fraud by false representation:

2          Fraud by false representation.

This section states:

(1)           A person is in breach of this section if he –

            (a)        dishonestly makes a false representation, and

            (b)        intends, by making the representation –

                        (i)         to make a gain for himself or another, or

                        (ii)        to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss

For a person to be guilty of this offence, they would need to have been dishonest as opposed to making a genuine mistake.

Generally speaking, lying on a CV would be considered dishonest as the test is what would be considered as such by the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people – and it is clear that it is intentional.

In addition, the intention must be to make to make a gain and obtaining employment would certainly fit this criteria.

No gain actually needs to be made and, therefore, a person could be guilty of this offence even if they did not actually successfully get the position through the lie.

But one Manchester man has already seen the dangers of telling lies on his CV.

In Manchester this year, Wade Jordan was jailed for three years for fraud and perverting the course of justice.

Jordan landed an HR role at biotechnology firm Qiagen by claiming he had an MA in human resource management from Manchester Metropolitan University. He went on to swindle almost £50,000 in fraudulent expense claims between 2010 and 2013.

In the majority of cases, should a person commit an offence of this ilk, the authorities are unlikely to ever actually find out and  it is quite unusual for  offences to come to light.

Often, as in the above example, it is when an individual commits further offences during their employment and the circumstances of how they got the job are looked into in more detail.

This applies to any type of job, however, further offences may apply when applying for certain types of jobs that ask for details of previous convictions.

Should a person lie in relation to this then a further offence of fraud by failing to disclose information could also apply.

The penalty for the offence is a maximum of 10 years in prison, although the sentencing guidelines for fraud do not really deal with offences of this nature.

In deciding on the level of sentence the court would need to take into account the level of deception, any gain made, the harm caused as a result of the deception.

The offenders’ personal circumstances and any relevant previous convictions will also be taken into consideration.

Do you have a question for the legal team at Olliers Solicitors? 

Their specialist criminal lawyers – including a specialist motor law department – are ready to answer your questions for FREE. All you have to do is email them in to our newsdesk here: newsdesk (at) mancunianmatters (dot) co (dot) uk

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