Employee Lied on Resume and Now Must Give Back $118,000 Pay
A former construction worker pretended to be a Ph.D.-holder to get top health executive job.
A British man is being required to return the equivalent of $118,000 he earned in prestigious jobs after it was discovered he lied about his qualifications on his résumé. That's the ruling of the British Supreme Court, which overturned an appeals court decision that he didn't have to give the money back because he had actually done the job he lied to get. Read on to find out how it all went down.
The Sunday Times reported that Jon Andrewes, 68, has already served two years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud for fabricating his résumé, which earned him jobs as chairman of two National Health Service trusts and a hospice. He held the hospice job from 2004 until 2016, when his deception was uncovered after he announced plans to take early retirement.
Andrewes called himself Dr. Jon Andrewes and claimed to have a Ph.D. from Plymouth University, first-class undergraduate and master's degrees from Bristol University, and an MBA from Edinburgh, the Times reported. He also falsely claimed to have worked for the Home Office and HM Revenue & Customs in the British government.
In reality, Andrewes had none of these qualifications. He had a certificate in social work and had been a construction worker, probation officer, and customs officer before deciding to reinvent himself as a Ph.D.-holder.
With that fabricated experience, Andrewes scored the hospice job, then roles as director and chairman of the Torbay NHS Care Trust and chairman of the Royal Cornwall NHS Hospital Trust. The panel that interviewed him for one of the trust positions called him an "outstanding" choice and picked him over 116 other candidates, the Daily Mail reported.
He had earned more than $118,000 a year from the three positions.
In 2017, Andrewes pleaded guilty in court to fraud and obtaining financial gain by falsifying his way into the hospice executive job. The judge who sentenced him said his "outwardly prestigious life was based upon a lie, and more accurately a series of staggering lies."
"They were repeated lies about your education and employment background and your experience, lies by which you obtained responsible positions which you at least probably, if not certainly, would not otherwise obtained, positions in which honesty and integrity were essential qualities," the judge added. "Of course, because of your fraud, you received an income you should not have received. Above all, what you did means that you were performing responsible roles which you should not have been performing and inevitably that causes real damage to the public's confidence in the organizations which you deceived."
At the time, prosecutors filed to recover the money they said Andrewes fraudulently earned over 10 years as head of the hospice. That was nixed by an appeals court. This week, the UK Supreme Court reinstated the penalty. They ruled that forcing Andrewes to return the full amount—more than $760,000—would be excessive and that a "middle way" was appropriate because Andrewes had actually done the job he was paid to do. "Andrewes did a good job as chief executive and was regularly appraised as either strong or outstanding," the judges said. Their decision: he must repay $118,000.
Today, Andrewes runs a curtains and blinds company with his wife, the Daily Mail reported.