Is lying in the curriculum a crime?

On many occasions, people in search of employment may be tempted to adorn their CV with qualifications or experience they do not have. However we must be aware that lying in a resume can not only lead to the company proceeding to our disciplinary dismissal for breach of contractual good faith, but in certain cases, when we take the lie too far, it can also constitute a crime.

Therefore, “fattening the curriculum” can have not only labor consequences, but also penal consequences. In this post we will focus on determining in which cases lying in the curriculum can be a crime.

Crimes that we can incur for lying in a resume:

Specifically, lying in the curriculum can lead us to incur in two criminal types: the crime of documentary falsification and the crime of professional intrusion.

Regarding the documentary falsification, the Penal Code distinguishes according to whether we are facing the falsification of a private document or the falsification of public or official documents.

Thus, article 395 of the Criminal Code defines and punishes the crime of document forgery in a private document, establishing prison sentences of 6 months to 2 years for the commission thereof.

For its part, articles 391 to 394 of the same legal text punish falsehood in public or official documents with penalties ranging from 6 months to 6 years in prison.

As regards the crime of intrusion, it should be borne in mind that articles 402 and 403 of the Criminal Code establish a penalty of one to three years in prison for those persons who practice a profession without having the corresponding academic title issued or recognized in Spain.

Cases in which a lie in a resume ended with a criminal conviction:

In November of 2016, the Provincial Court of Lleida ruled on a case in which a worker falsified an official certificate of figure skating instructor, supposedly issued by the Catalan Skating Federation, in order for the City Council of Lleida to hire her. Finally, the court decided to sentence her to six months in prison for falsehood in an official document.

This is the same line, the Provincial Court of León sentenced a man who used a false card of an installer officer to obtain a certain job in a company to the penalty of 9 months in prison.

In this case, the company discovered that this document was false when it sent the worker’s documentation to the Territorial Delegation of León, in order for it to carry out a technical course, and the latter would reply that the card presented by this worker was false.

In July 2010, the Supreme Court ruled on a case in which the convicted person had falsified a degree in law to achieve membership and access to a job as “Director of Labor Relations” in a company.

He spent almost ten years pretending to be a lawyer, even representing the first of the two companies he worked for in a trial. In addition, the second of them paid their college fees and those of the Mutualidad de la Abogacía.

In this case, the Supreme Court sentenced him to one year’s imprisonment for work intrusion and was acquitted of the crimes of falsification of documents and fraud because they were already prescribed.