A city banker and a student from the University of York both face jail sentences after being found guilty of cheating in university exams.
Jerome Drean, a former Bank of America and Credit Suisse employee, and 23 year-old student Elnar Askerov used a fake university identification card to allow Mr Drean to sit exams for Mr Askerov.
The fraud was discovered during an economics exam when an invigilator realised that Mr Drean was an imposter.
York Crown Court heard that the fake card, bearing Mr Askerov’s name and Mr Drean’s photograph, was used 9 times between January 2006 and May 2007. It is believed that over £20,000 was paid to Mr Drean in the 17-month period.
Judge Stephen Ashurt told the pair: “I know you are both intelligent men. You must understand that all sentencing options including imprisonment will be considered when this court reconvenes to consider your case.”
He added: “This is a case that raises some issues of quite some public important in relation to public examinations and the confidence that the community can have in them.”
The pair admitted conspiracy to defraud the University of York. Mr Askerov’s lawyer has pledged that his client will pay the university £600 to cover the cost of marking the exam papers involved, whilst Mr Drean has also said he will pay the £20,000 he was paid by Mr Askerov to the prosecuting authorities.
Mr Drean, who lives in London, quit his job at Credit Suisse eight days after being uncovered. Mr Askerov now works and lives abroad.
Both are due to be sentenced later this month.
In an apparently unrelated incident, two other students were found guilty of cheating in the same exam. York student Qiu Shi Zhang admitted aiding and abetting fraud, whilst Birmingham University student, Xin Zhang admitted to a charge of fraud. Xin Zhang sat the exam for his friend after the former had been struggling with the workload. They were each sentenced to 100 hours community service and ordered to pay £35.