AN INDEPENDENT college which closed after it was prosecuted for advertising false credentials must pay more than £10,000 in fines and costs.
Preston International College, formerly of Clayton Road, Hayes, was prosecuted by Hillingdon Council for falsely claiming it had official accreditations from reputed hospitality and accountancy bodies.
Between February and November 2010, the college advertised on its website and in its prospectus that its courses were recommended by the Association of Chartered Accountants, Virgin Atlantic, the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality and the Chartered Institute of Management Accounts, among others.
An unhappy student complained to Hillingdon Council's trading standards department after being refused a refund when his course was cancelled after just three weeks.
The department delved further and, suspicious about the college's claims of links with prestigious bodies, contacted the organisations in question.
All confirmed they had no association with Preston International. It shut shortly after.
The institution first appeared in court in March last year, when the College's listed secretary, Muheeb Mohyuddin, admitted on behalf of himself and the company eight counts of engaging in unfair commercial practices.
Mohyuddin then changed his guilty plea and a trial date was set, but he later changed his plea back and sentencing finally took place at Harrow Crown Court on Tuesday, January 31.
The college was fined £8,000, and it must pay £2,500 towards court costs.