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Woman forged documents in bid to become an architect

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A woman has been convicted of fraud after submitting falsified documents to the Architects Registration Board in an attempt to become a registered architect

Leopoldine Van Daalen will be sentenced on 12 September, having been found guilty last week of offences under the Fraud Act 2006.

Southwark Crown Court heard that Van Daalen, 41, who lives in Islington, submitted a false degree certificate in July 2015, along with other fake documents.

According to Court News UK, Van Daalen claimed she had obtained her Part I from the University of East London in July 2012 and had provided the ARB with a copy of the certificate along with a reference claiming to be from architecture firm Allies and Morrison together with other documents bearing the practice’s name.

Judge Mr Recorder Weatherill said all options including custody remained open, and called for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Architects Registration Board chief executive Karen Holmes said: ‘ARB welcomes the verdict. Members of the public should be confident when they engage with someone who is on the register that they are qualified and competent to use the title architect.

‘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.’



Readers' comments (4)

  • Chris Rogers

    "Architecture squad; you're busted. Put down the mouse and step away from the Autocad. Take her away."

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  • £2k fine?
    Cheaper than an architectural education and possibly more enlightening?

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  • John Kellett

    Prison and throwing away the key is the appropriate penalty for fraud. The Country is littered with fake architects. Just about abiding by the law, but never correcting and always positively promoting their clientele into assuming that they are architects, I know because I used to work for one. Why is that not fraud?

    The ONLY qualifications that lead to legal use of the title of 'architect' are those that meet Parts 1, 2 and 3, NOTHING else. At networking meetings I am often accosted by people accusing their 'architect' of a whole number of misdemeanours, only to have to point out to them that person/firm are not architects! I am then verbally abused for being wrong! If the public do not know the difference then the ARB (and RIBA), Government (local and central) and Police should be ashamed of themselves.

    As elsewhere, the terms 'architectural' (and 'architecture') in job titles and business names ought to be included within the Architect's Act. The confusion within the population is largely due to that simple fact. Even use of the term 'building designer' is regulated in Australia etc. The function is protected in most 'civilised' Countries, and the UK government has NEVER satisfactorily stated why it isn't here. Perhaps Grenfell Tower will change that?

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  • Chimes with the current BBC drama Trust Me where the new Dr Who actor plays a nurse who pretends to be a doctor. But who would want to pretend to be an architect when there are so many pretend architects around already?

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