Baljit Singh Fake College Scam: Last week we gave you an article about former TV presenter Amarjit Singh and ‘ghost college’ scam. Details have now emerged about how another Individual Baljit Singh & his fake college scam. Baljit’s master plan unravelled thanks to a 4-minute phone call and a spelling error.
Baljit Singh, 37, brother-in-law Rakesh Kumar and friend Mukesh Sharma are now all serving lengthy jail terms.
Singh set up a logistics business which made $17.5million by 2011 – but in a bid to increase his fortune, he turned his talents to crime. The fraudsters stole people’s identities and listed them as students without them knowing.
Fake equipment, a collage with 300 students only ever had a cleaner on site! No sign of students!
The trio also signed up paying overseas students but gave them certificates to say they had completed courses without requiring them to even turn up. The scam allowed the trio, who were all jailed last year, to rake in $2,007,487 in taxpayer funds between March 2014 and July 2015 – but their plot then came crashing down.
Singh received a phone call from the Australian Skills Quality Authority to say that his business would be audited.
He then phoned Sharma to tell him to prepare and their four-minute conversation – as well as other chats with associates – was recorded by police, reports the Daily Mail.
According to the ABC’s 7.30, which revealed the tapped phone calls on Tuesday, one of Singh’s associates told him: ‘We know that we are doing is ethically and legally wrong.’
Officers then swooped on the colleges – and found the men had set them up to make them look real.
‘What we saw… was a whole lot of computers and paperwork coming into the actual institute,’ Detective Superintendent Woodward told the ABC.
‘But then the computers actually weren’t networked, they weren’t connected to anything. So they basically just brought in all this material to comply with the compliance visit.’
In a bid to make the colleges look legitimate, the men had even printed off fake records and assignments they claimed the students had completed.
But police found many of them were exactly the same – even down to the same spelling mistakes.
‘What we found was two vocational education systems that had incredibly meticulous records for students that didn’t fundamentally exist,’ Detective Superintendent Woodward said.
The men were arrested and charged with conspiring to dishonestly influence a government official and conspiring to deal with the proceeds of crime.
In September last year they were found guilty. Singh was jailed for six years while Kumar and Sharma were jailed for five years.
Singh’s wife, Rekha Aurora, was found guilty of the same charges but only given a three-year good behaviour bond because she was not involved as much.