Sunday, February 18, 2007

Indian FT conman let off!

Why is this man so happy? Because it pays to be a foreigner in Sillypore, that's why! (Even when you fake your credentials)

Feb 17, 2007
MD who lied about degree let off with fine
MBA from India, but he claimed in EP application it was from US varsity
By K.C. Vijayan

COMPANY managing director Mahesh Narayan, who lied several times that he had a degree from a top US university, was originally facing up to five years in jail and a possible $20,000 fine. But he was yesterday let off with a $6,000 penalty after pleading guilty to two of the five charges.

Senior Counsel Philip Jeyaretnam, arguing for Narayan, said he had been hired for his work experience and not his degree, and that where the degree was actually obtained from did not result in any loss to his employers.

The prosecution also did not press for a jail term.

Why not? Double standards??

Contacted by The Straits Times after sentencing yesterday, Narayan said: 'The judicial process has been very fair and I am just relieved it is finally over.'

Narayan, who heads a business management and consultancy firm here, said: 'Our projects are here, and our commitments, both personal and professional, are here, too.'

Is he threatening to take his business somewhere else if he is handed a heavier sentence??

Asked repeatedly why he lied, the Indian national declined to answer.

Why didn't the prosecution follow up?? Note that Narayan was not even remorseful or the slightest sorry for lying.

He was accused of falsely stating, since 2000, in his Employment Pass (EP) applications to the Ministry of Manpower that he had a master's in business administration from Syracuse University.

He does have an MBA - but from Osmania University in southern India.

But this lie would have made no difference to MOM or the firms which hired Narayan, argued Mr Jeyaretnam.

He pointed out that three of his employers had emphasised his 'work experience and exposure' in justifying his employment. In April 2000, MTV Asia - where Narayan worked as a consultant - cited his 'extensive consultancy experience and in-depth knowledge of the television broadcast business in Asia' in its supporting letter.

Moreover, the MOM did not insist on seeing his educational certificates, claimed Mr Jeyaretnam, saying that this shows 'that the particular educational institution from which Mr Narayan obtained his MBA was not decisive or even especially material to MOM'.

District Judge Toh Yung Cheong - noting that there were no forged documents and that the prosecution did not ask for a jail term - imposed a $3,000 fine on each of the two charges Narayan pleaded guilty to.

The other three charges were taken into consideration. Each of the five charges carried a fine of up to $4,000 or a maximum jail term of one year, or both......

Narayan's case is different from others of a similar nature, said Mr Jeyaretnam, because he did not actually submit a forged certificate.

In January 2005, South Korean sales manager Kang Seong Yong, 40, was jailed for two months for lying that he had a university degree, which was key to him getting a job.

A total of 68 people were convicted each year in 2002 and 2003 for falsely declaring their educational qualifications.

The defence lawyer did a good job and make the offence sounds like a trivial one. The judge obviously agrees and the punishment is a gentle tap on the wrist of the conman. However if everything is as inconsequential as it looks, why even bother to prosecute him in the first place? Why waste everyone's time? Why have a law on such offences in the first place? If "this lie would have made no difference to MOM or the firms which hired Narayan" then why is Narayan being charged in court in the first place? This is a contradiction. And who exposed him? I guess we are not seeing the full picture.

No comments: