Singapore – A 30-year-old man was fined for forging a National University of Singapore (NUS) degree certificate in order to secure a part-time teaching job at an international school.
On Friday (Dec 11), Chinese national Xie Xin pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulently using a forged document as a genuine one. He was fined S$4,000, reported straitstimes.com.
According to court documents, Xie is a Singapore permanent resident and was accepted as an NUS student on Aug 1, 2011. Xie then withdrew from the university on Apr 18, 2016, failing to complete the requirements needed for a degree.
It was mentioned in the report that some time in the middle of 2016, Xie had downloaded a photo of an NUS Certificate for a computer engineering degree and used Adobe Photoshop, a photo-editing software, to insert his name into the degree.
Xie was reinstated as an NUS student in 2017; however, was academically dismissed later that year because he failed to meet examination regulations. In 2018, he applied for a part-time teaching position at Ascencia International School through a referral from another teacher at the school.
He submitted the forged document during his interview for the job. Xie worked at Ascensia from Nov 15, 2018, to Dec 31, 2019.
It was only when a human resources manager from the school asked Xie to sign a “lecturer declaration form and verification of certificate authenticity” did the forged document come to light.
He hesitated to sign the document and asked if his A-Level certificate would suffice. A few days later, Xie admitted through a personal statement that he had not completed his final year at NUS. He alleged that the university had given him another year to meet requirements; however, he and his family deemed it not the right moment to continue with studies.
The human resources executive then cross-checked Xie’s claims with NUS. The latter confirmed that the forged document did not match any of their graduates’ records.
An NUS employee lodged a police report on Mar 5, 2019, and Xie was dismissed from the school on Mar 14.
During investigations, Xie initially claimed that the forged document was a photograph of his original certificate shown by an NUS staff member. He later admitted to forgery in a second police statement.
Court documents noted that the school might have hired Xie with only his valid A-Level certificate, given a lower salary range.
In addition to being fined, Xie could have been jailed for up to four years for his offence. /TISG