An interpreter with “extremely poor” translation skills conned his way into a job in London’s courts and tribunals on the basis of forged qualifications, a court heard.
Mirwais Patang, 27, translated for defendants in dozens of cases over more than four years despite having no formal training, and submitted bogus timesheets to boost his earnings.
He got the job with contractor Capita when he was just 18-years-old, forging a certificate to convince bosses he was trained to interpret Pashto and Dari.
Patang then assumed the identity of his older brother – a genuine interpreter – to fraudulently claim he had improved his qualifications and could work as a Tier 1 translator.
He was eventually caught out after helping a second bogus interpreter, Solimann David, 27, to get work on an Old Bailey criminal trial about a child sex ring.
The ruse was exposed when Patang tried to overcharge for David’s work, submitting payment claims with the forged signature of the court clerk in the case, Southwark crown court heard.
The court heard Patang used his own name to initially get a job with Capita, providing a forged qualification certificate to be hired as a Tier 3 interpreter.
He assumed his older brother’s identity in 2014 and used another forged certificate to be upgraded to Tier 1 work.
He worked on 140 cases, at crown courts, magistrates court, tribunals, and county courts around the Greater London area, with the total loss to the courts service assessed at more than £75,000.
Judge Phillip Bartle QC sentenced Patang to two years in prison suspended for two years, and ordered him to carry out 300 hours of community service.
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