Judge calls time on fake grade trader

9th June 2006 at 01:00
A man who made a fortune from selling fake GCSE and A-level certificates has had his business shut down by a High Court judge.

Peter Quinn was issued with an injunction and given a pound;30,000 bill for legal costs, after trading bogus A grades from his website.

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), which represents seven school examination boards, won its case against him in London, this week.

Mr Justice Warren issued an injunction against Mr Quinn, from Liverpool, ordering him to stop trading in forged certificates. If he breaches the injunction, Mr Quinn could be fined or jailed for contempt of court.

Jonathan Hill, JCQ's counsel, said: "My clients have had some trouble with Mr Quinn in the past. He's a forger and faker of these certificates."

He said JCQ had tracked down various fake certificates emanating from Mr Quinn and, showing the judge an example, he added: "It looks like he got a whole lot of A grades."

Describing Mr Quinn as a "very slippery customer" who had made lots of money from his forgery trade, Mr Hill said: "He is indiscriminate in what he does and the way he meets the demands of his customers."

As well as fake GCSE and A-level certificates, he was able to provide a wide range of other counterfeit paper qualifications from a number of examination boards.

Mr Quinn had been declared bankrupt and had had injunctions issued against him in the past. He had been given a suspended jail term for contempt of court, the barrister said.

Describing the bogus certificates as "instruments of deception", Mr Hill added: "The certificates don't deceive those who buy them - they know they are fakes - but they do deceive others."

The barrister said that, despite serving court documents on his home and business addresses, JCQ had "heard nothing from Mr Quinn at any stage".

Mr Justice Warren said he was satisfied that his activities amounted to both "passing off" and a breach of the exam boards' registered trademarks.

Dr Ellie Johnson Searle, the exam board's director, said after the ruling:

"The JCQ is determined to protect the public where it can, the integrity of the qualifications issued by its members and to ensure that the hard work of the vast majority of students is not undermined."

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