A HEADTEACHER in Wealdstone who was made an MBE for services to education has been found guilty of conning students into paying thousands of pounds for worthless qualifications.
Dr Roselle Antoine dished out certificates for National Vocational Qualifications that were 'not worth the paper they were written on' in a six-year scam at TCS Tutorial College , in Palmerston Road, Wealdstone.
She also illegally helped eight foreign nationals, mostly from Jamaica, apply for student visas so she could milk them for tuition fees of between £850 and £1,350 a year.
Antoine, who received an MBE in 2006 for services to education and community development, told the court that the former students accusing her of fraud were lying, but jurors at Southwark Crown Court unanimously convicted her of a series of trading standards and immigration charges on Thursday last week.
Ms Antoine, 55, initially admitted the charges in 2008, but then frustrated the legal process by trying to change her guilty pleas into not guilty on the eve of sentencing.
Speaking after the verdict, Bill Bilon, director of Trading Standards, said: "Colleges like this do a disservice by bringing the education system in this country into disrepute and undermining the credibility of the qualifications that legitimate colleges offer."
Brendon Hills, Harrow Council's corporate director for community and environment, added: "This was a college that promised much to disadvantaged pupils, but in the end was shown to be a vehicle for frequently selling worthless qualifications on the back of the promise of visas.
"Brent and Harrow Council's trading standards department is in the job of protecting the public and that is just what they did here - helping to bring these practices to light.
"We now look to Ofsted to give a final judgment on the running of this college."
Antoine, of both Greenford, and Watford, Hertfordshire, was found guilty of providing immigration advice when not qualified and eight counts of providing immigration services when not qualified, all between September 2001 and March 2004. She was also found guilty of five counts of knowingly making a false statement and five of recklessly making a false statement between September 2001 and January 2007.
The judge, Miss Recorder Catherine Newman QC, is due to pass sentence on the disgraced principal on April 30.