…Accusations of fake certificates presented
Days after news surfaced that she allegedly supplied the Ministry of Home Affairs with falsified documents to secure her position as Head of the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), Althea Padmore has written to the US-based university seeking an explanation.
News surfaced last week that raised questions about the authenticity of Padmore’s qualifications. In particular, a copy of her MBA certificate showed it was signed by Gary M. Keisling, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Georgia, US-based Ashworth College.
However, Keisling passed away since 2012, making it impossible for him to have signed the certificate that was awarded to Padmore in 2015.
Padmore has since issued a statement, through her attorney Nigel Hughes noting that she has engaged Ashworth College about the allegations which have been made and is awaiting their response.
“I was unaware of any issue in relation to either Ashworth College or the authenticity of the certificate I received. I have been informed that Ashworth College has been taken over by Penn Foster University. I will share any future communications from Penn Foster with the press upon my receipt of their communications,” Padmore said in the statement.
Additionally, she debunked the accusation that the certification she received from the university was part of any consideration undertaken by SOCU in the review of, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, for her employment.
The SOCU investigator explained that that the time of joining SOCU she was the holder of a BSC in Accountancy from the University of Guyana (UG), a Diploma in Accountancy from the UG, and a Certificate in USA federal taxation from Indiana University School of Continuing Studies.
She said further that she also had previously worked for an accumulated period of 12 years in the areas of auditing, taxation and bank supervision.
“The requirements for the post to which I was appointed at SOCU included full vetting, background checks, and successful passing of a polygraph test.
Prior to joining SOCU I had commenced two online programs; an MBA and a diploma in event planning. Both programs were offered by Ashworth College.
These programs were not part of my application to SOCU neither were they taken into account prior to the retention of my services by SOCU,” Padmore said.
According to the statement, the SOCU investigator claimed that she never had any reason to doubt the authenticity of the documentation issued by the university and made no effort to verify the status of the signatories of the certificate or the institution other than her initial inquiries prior to the commencement of the MBA program.
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