Identification of companies
As part of a project that is separate identified approximately 1000 distinct websites offering essay-writing or related services to students in Higher Education. We analysed the websites to identify those which indicated they are owned by companies listed at Companies House when you look at the UK, which means that they can run as ‘legitimate’ businesses and they are subject to regulation by UK law, having been ‘incorporated’ beneath the Companies Act 2006 (UK Government 2016b). We analysed 26 sites operated by an overall total of 21 companies that are apparently distinct each had separate listings at Companies House. We also analysed a small number of additional sites from Australia in addition to USA, making a complete of 31 sites. We have not included the identity for the specific companies in this publication for the following reasons: 1. We do not need to advertise that is further services of the companies, either through this publication or through any publicity connected with it. 2. We have no guarantee that the company number given on these websites is obviously compared to the company which runs your website. The names are the same but in others this is not the case in some cases. 3. The content for this article is academic opinion and not the foundation for legal proceedings. We now have shared, confidentially, the identities associated with the companies using the reviewers for this manuscript and in addition with all the UK Quality Assurance Agency who also identified a number of UK-based companies within their recent report on essay mills (QAA 2016).
In July 2016 we accessed the websites of those companies to address a series of questions (Table 1) which would then allow us to think about the relevant parts of the Fraud Act. Questions were addressed by one author (VI) with cross checking by a second (MD). When it comes to final question “Is the advertising potentially misleading (compared to disclaimer/terms + conditions)?”, the authors considered the advertising to be misleading if it (as an example) gave the impression that work purchased from the website could possibly be submitted as if it were a student’s own work, without citing the business.
Shown below are questions that individuals asked associated with websites. We then considered the Fraud Act in more detail, informed by answers towards the relevant questions below.
The Fraud Act
The Act (UK Government 2006) provides for a general offence of fraud, defined through the 3 ways of committing it, which are (1) by false representation, (2) by failing woefully to disclose information and (3) by abuse of position. Each is dealt with in a section that is separate of Act. Additionally, it is an offence, underneath the Act, to obtain services dishonestly and/or to possess, make or supply articles for use in fraud(s).
We will consider Section 2 of the act (‘fraud by false representation’) later in this paper but at this time it is appropriate to briefly address Section 3 of the Act rendering it an offence to neglect to disclose, to another, information for which there was a legal duty to disclose. As an example neglecting to disclose information pertaining to a contract of insurance or a physician neglecting to disclose to a hospital that one patients referred for treatment are private patients, thereby avoiding a charge for the services provided by him or her. A legal duty to reveal information can arise as a result of a contract between two parties or due to the existence of a particular form of professional relationship among them; as an example, a solicitor/client relationship. In its report on Fraud (Report on a reference under section 3(1)(e) regarding the Law Commissions Act 1965 No. 276 Cm 5560 2002) what the law states Commission made listed here comments in regards to the circumstances by which a legal duty might arise:
“7.28 … Such a duty may are based on statute (for instance the provisions company that is governing), through the proven fact that the transaction under consideration is amongst the utmost good faith (such as for example a contract of insurance), from the express or implied terms of a contract, from the custom of a certain trade or market, or from the existence of a fiduciary relationship between your parties (such as compared to agent and principal).
7.29 for this specific purpose there is certainly a duty that is legal disclose information not only if the defendant’s failure to disclose it provides the victim a cause of action for damages, but in addition in the event that law gives the victim a right to set aside any improvement in his or her legal position to which he or she may consent because of the non- disclosure. For instance, a person in a fiduciary position has a duty to disclose material information when entering into a contract together with his or her beneficiary, into the sense that a failure to produce such disclosure will entitle the beneficiary to rescind the contract and to reclaim any property transferred under it.”
Thus a key real question is whether essay mills owe a legal duty for their customers to reveal information? For example, if they submit the purchased essay without proper attribution that they are committing academic fraud whether they are under a legal duty to disclose to customers that.
There’s no obvious legal relationship that is fiduciary the assistor in addition to customer (a fiduciary is somebody who has undertaken to do something for or on the behalf of another in a certain matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence). Thus the connection between student customer and essay mills seems to be entirely contractual. In the beginning therefore the legal duty in the part of the company is in fact to comply with the terms and conditions associated with contract which for the part that is most are set within the conditions and terms of business drafted by them. These try not to routinely place a legal duty on the organization to disclose information regarding the possible consequences of use by a student and in any event as discussed below they routinely warn resistant to the submitting for the essay without proper attribution.
Section 3b (i) and (ii) of the Act go on to deliver that an offence is only committed if by failing woefully to disclose information the defendant “intended which will make a gain for him or even to cause loss to a different or expose custom writings another to a chance of loss”. By neglecting to give information that use associated with essay through submission at an educational institution may lead to an academic misconduct claim an organization promises to make a financial gain, i.e. continue running a business and there is prospect of risk of loss by the student customer. However essay mills are not usually under a legal duty in the initial location to provide these records plus in fact as discussed underneath the terms and conditions of business usually specifically address this point through disclaimers with regards to utilization of the essay (Similarly an offence under section 4 regarding the Act – abuse of position – is effectively negated).
We think about the position with regards to advertising utilized by essay mills later in this paper – there is a legal duty not to mislead established other than through the Fraud Act 2006.