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Institute ejects ‘sick note’ accountant

3rd Sep 2012
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A student accountant at Deloitte who fabricated a letter from a doctor to provide an excuse for failing professional exams is unfit to be a member of the ICAEW, a disciplinary committee has ruled.

Nahied Kabir, a provisional member of the ICAEW, was employed by the Big Four firm on a training contract.

It stipulated that Kabir could have two attempts at passing a professional exam, which, if failed, would entitle the employer to terminate the training contract. Kabir failed the exam twice while at Deloitte.

At a meeting with the firm after his second failure to pass the exam, Kabir said that his ill health was a mitigating factor for failing the exam.

Kabir gave Deloitte a letter from a David M O’Connell who appeared, to be practising medicine at Salop Nuffield Hospital in Shrewsbury. Based on the letter, Deloitte let Kabir re-sit the examination a third time.

After a delay pending medical tests, Kabir re-took the examination and passed it, but failed three other exams he was required to pass under his contract with Deloitte.

In February, Kabir had a meeting with Deloitte to consider whether to terminate his training contract. He explained that the main reason for his poor performance was the ill-health of his mother. Deloitte asked Kabir to complete an “exceptional circumstances” form, supported by evidence, which it would consider when deciding his future

Kabir provided a letter purportedly written by Andrew Townsend MB ChB who appeared to be practising medicine at Telford Hospital in Shrewsbury.

The letter appeared to be written on NHS letterhead and was almost identical to the one apparently written by Dr O’Connell which the defendant submitted as evidence for his own ill health.

In fact, there was no Dr Townsend working at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital and no Dr Townsend on the General Medical Council’s register.

In February, Kabir was invited to another meeting and was asked to bring the original letter from Dr Townsend.

Kabir claimed not to have the original letter. When asked to comment on the similarity between the Dr O’Connell and the Dr Townsend letters, Kabir explained that since he and his mother had undergone similar tests that would explain the similar wording.

When it was put to Kabir that there was no record of Dr Townsend at the hospital and that there was insufficient evidence to support consideration by the Exceptional Circumstances Panel, Kabir explained - according to a letter from Deloitte to the ICAEW dated 16 May - that “he knew he needed evidence to support his case and the letter worked the first time, so he scanned it in and changed it as he couldn’t get evidence together in time”.

Deloitte terminated Kabir’s employment on the grounds of capability. The defendant did not exercise his right to appeal the decision.

Kabir told the ICAEW that he scanned Dr O’Connell’s letter and submitted it as his mother’s doctor’s letter. He said that he regretted doing this but did so under the stress of his mother’s illness and because he felt hat his employer had not given him sufficient support.

He said that he was unable to provide the evidence requested by his employer in the 48 hours allowed him and so scanned and changed the O’Connell letter. He also said that he believed that Deloitte had already made up its mind to terminate his employment and lacked understanding about his situation and family background of cancer. The defendant said that he was “upset and disappointed” that his employer had reported the matter to ICAEW.

He said “I feel this may relate to the fact that I was in financial dispute with deloitte [sic] over monies relating to a graduate loan and business expenses,” Kabir told the ICAEW. “I feel this action is designed to put further pressure on me from deloitte [sic] in relation to paying this amount...”

He added that he was “deeply upset and concerned” by Deloitte’s behaviour towards him.

Explaining its decision that Kabir is unfit to become a member of the ICAEW and should pay £100 costs, the ICAEW said that it “cannot tolerate such grossly dishonest misconduct”.

The decision was one of the ICAEW’s disciplinary and regulatory decisions published in August.

Replies (2)

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By mrshamilton
05th Sep 2012 17:21

My professional body publishes the the results of it's disciplinary panel and it always amazes me that people cheat in their exams and are just reprimanded!  I see it time and time again.


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By Allan Scott
06th Sep 2012 10:35

What planet is he on- He is 

What planet is he on- He is "deeply upset and concerned" regarding Deloittes treatment, when they have been extremely reasonable with him. " regarding  Deloittes "    " "

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