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UK – Staffing firm operators banned in £200k con

07 February 2013

Two men who pocketed thousands of pounds and conned jobseekers into applying for fake jobs were yesterday banned from running or being involved in operating a staffing firm for seven years.

The Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS) brought legal proceedings against Ian Johnson and Ronald Clark who made £200,000 from cheating jobseekers. The judge’s decision takes immediate effect and was announced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The men did not contest Wednesday’s ruling.

The hearing heard how the Newcastle-based pair had placed job ads in the national press, online and through Jobcentres. But none of the jobs existed and applicants were tricked into ringing expensive premium rate numbers. Hopeful applicants were charged £25 for a careers pack and administration fees.

Jo Swinson, employment relations minister, said this behaviour was “totally unacceptable.” She added that “today’s ruling shows we will take the strongest form of action and should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks they can mislead people in this way.

“A well-run private recruitment sector plays an important role in ensuring that the UK’s labour market works effectively. It is essential that employment agencies operate within the law.”

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