DANCE SCHOOL IN FRAUD PROSECUTION
A dance college owner has been convicted of fraud after taking over £12,000 in college fees when he offered internationally recognised dance teaching qualifications which he was not authorised to provide.
The dance college owner, from Beckenham, has been given a 12 months suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work for the nine offences including three for fraud.
The Bromley council trading standards investigation followed a complaint from parents of aspiring dancers that they had paid a lot of money to the man for places on a performing arts college diploma course which they believed could provide the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing teaching qualifications that their daughters needed for their future careers.
The trading standards investigation revealed that the college was not authorised to offer these qualifications.
It also uncovered false claims on the college website and documentation about a Trinity College London musical theatre qualification being available on the diploma and the unauthorised display of national dance organisation logos, including the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, Trinity College London, Royal Academy of Dance and Council for Dance Education and Training.
Three young aspiring dancers of Mr Justice’s fraud and their parents all paid course fees. The mother of one of them said “I would advise any parent to check the accreditation of a college. “This can be done by contacting CDET, the Council for Dance Education and Training.
“It’s not only about the money but a waste of two years of my daughters training with absolutely nothing to show for it. “My daughter had danced with the man since the age of 13 in his dance school and took many recognised dance exams. “I had no reason to believe his college was not accredited as he claimed it was.”
Another mum whose daughter was at the college for a year said “I trusted what he told me about his diploma, so I allowed my daughter to give up her A levels after the first year to join the course and pursue her dream.
“I will no longer take things at face value and in the future will always make thorough checks on what I am told and what I read. I would not want anyone else to go through what we have experienced”.
Bromley council’s executive councillor for public protection and safety Cllr Kate Lymer said: “The world of dance and performance is difficult enough to pursue without unscrupulous people taking advantage of parents and young hopefuls.
“We will not tolerate fraudulent business in the borough and worked with parents, students and national dance organisations to secure justice in this case.
“Although it should not be necessary, as this case shows, we would advise prospective students to carefully check the accreditations being offered with the relevant body.”
The man was sentenced at Croydon crown court on 3 June 2016 having previously been found guilty of three separate offences of fraud contrary to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006 and six offences of engaging in an unfair commercial practice, contrary to Regulation 12 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. (Source: Bromley council press release)