Attempt to scam Architects Registration Board ends with fraud conviction

A woman who submitted a bogus degree certificate and other misleading documents in a failed attempt to register as an architect has been convicted of four counts of fraud.

Leopoldine Van Daalen was warned at Southwark Crown Court that a prison term would be among the options when she is sentenced next month.

The Architects Registration Board said Van Daalen had submitted the faked credentials as part of an application to sit a prescribed examination in July 2015, and that her actions amounted to a criminal offence.

Van Daalen was found guilty by a jury after a three day trial and is due to be sentenced next month.

Recorder Bernard Weatherill asked probation officers to compile an “all options” pre-sentence report, which will include an evaluation of the appropriacy of custody.

“It was right and proper that regulators and regulatory bodies take this type of action where there was a case of an individual trying to take advantage of fraudulently seeking to assert a professional standing when they were not entitled to do so,” he said.

After the verdict, Arb chief executive Karen Holmes said it was vital for members of the public to have confidence that people registered as architects were qualified and competent to use the title.

“We see an attempt to enter the register fraudulently as a calculated attempt to exploit the confidence that the public have in the title ‘architect’ and will take legal action where necessary,” she said.