February 10, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 72  

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Guelph grads caught forging transcripts; corn futures fall

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

Two University of Guelph graduates were caught red-handed trying to apply to the University of Saskatchewan College of Dentistry with forged transcripts. They have been charged with several criminal offenses and are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 27.

“This is a very unusual case,” said Lori Bona Hunt, Guelph’s associate director of communications and public affairs, adding she could not comment further as the issue is currently under investigation by police.

Dean Kolbinson, the dean of the Saskatchewan’s college of dentistry, said the forged transcripts were discovered in late April or early May. “One of the men was interviewed and there was something quite [suspicious] about him,” he said, explaining this prompted a review of the man’s file.

“A request was made to the registrar to verify [his transcript],” Kolbinson said. The transcript was found to be false and a check was done with the Guelph registrar to verify other applicants from that school, he explained, adding one more man was found to have submitted a falsified transcript.

A spokesman for the Guelph Police Service said the two applicants who attempted to use forged transcripts were in their 30s and had graduated from Guelph a few years ago. It is not certain if the two men were connected at all.

Guelph police confirmed that simply submitting false documents constituted a crime and the applicants did not have to falsify the transcripts themselves to be guilty.

The forgeries seem to have been constructed by taking blank Guelph transcripts and printing false records onto them, police said. Both men altered their marks, as well as adding and dropping some courses.

When the forgeries were discovered, arrangements were made to notify all registrars in Canada, including all dental schools, Kolbinson explained. The college then notified the university solicitor, who had the responsibility of contacting police, he added.

According to Guelph police, this is a rare crime.

While noting she could not speculate on Guelph’s admissions process, Krys Chelchowski, manager of business operations at Western’s registrar, said Western transcript papers have several security features on them.

All transcript papers are numbered, so if any are taken they would be noticed, Chelchowski explained. “[The papers] are stored in a vault with alarms and video cameras,” she added.



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