A Watford man has received seven convictions after falsely describing himself as an architect on LinkedIn and with Companies House
Sohail Chohan pleaded guilty in December at Westminster Magistrates Court to separate charges of misusing the title ‘architect’ on social media, with Companies House, on his website and company drawings.
As well as Chohan being convicted, his one-man business, Sterling Design and Management, was also convicted for the same seven offences – although magistrates chose not to punish him for these convictions separately.
Chohan told the AJ that his son, who was doing A-levels at the time, had set up his LinkedIn profile and website and that he had never seen either of them.
He said he had ignored multiple warnings by the ARB because he had ‘not realised the seriousness’ of claiming to be an architect, but acknowledged that ‘ignorance [was] not an excuse’.
Chohan insisted he was not annoyed at his son, but expressed surprise when the AJ informed him his website still had ‘Professional Architects based in London’ emblazoned at the top of it, because his son had claimed to have removed all references to the company being an architect.
Taking into account the defendant’s financial situation and his early guilty plea, the judge imposed fines totalling £1,700 in addition to the criminal conviction.
Chohan added that he was grateful to magistrates for not imposing the maximum punishment of £2,500 for 14 separate convictions, saying: ‘They understood I was an idiot and were as lenient as they could be.’
Chohan studied architecture in Leeds but dropped out for personal reasons before he could complete his Part 1. He ran a construction business until it went bust in 2008.
He said that around 70 per cent of his current work was for project managing schemes designed by other people.