Seven are charged over college fraud inquiry

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The Independent Online
Six people have been charged with conspiracy to defraud a Birmingham college following an investigation into alleged phantom courses. A seventh person has been charged with forgery in connection with the two-year police investigation into the running of community courses on behalf of Bournville College of Further Education. Detectives from the West Midlands Police Fraud Squad charged the four men and three women, who all come from the Birmingham area, within the past fortnight. They will appear before magistrates later this month.

The police investigation centred on courses run on behalf of Bournville College for members of Birmingham's Asian community. They included Islamic studies, sewing and English language for women. The college funded the programmes but franchised the teaching to four local training provider organisations. Police were called in in January 1995 following claims that some courses had never taken place and that students reported to be on the roll did not exist.