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Steve Chan – a fraudster employed by Swansea University exposed by The Eye who was on a Europol body combating fraud

A convicted fraudster exclusively revealed by us who was sentenced to more than four years in jail represented a controversial Welsh university on an advisory international anti-fraud body before the Vice-Chancellor (VC) was sensationally suspended at the institution and an anonymous internal dirty tricks campaign we have been alone in reporting broke out, The Eye can disclose.

The so-called ‘academic’ at Swansea University, Steve Chan was on a European cyber crime network at ‘Europol’ based in the Hague called ‘EC3’ where a key declared aim was to fight fraud, despite the fact he had himself been imprisoned by a court in Boston for four years and three months as well as being ordered to pay millions of dollars in compensation after a huge fraud.

Chan was imprisoned by Boston law courts for more than four years and ordered to pay millions of dollars in restitution after a huge fraud

Chan’s jail term was followed by three years of supervised release, after he admitted at Boston court in America one count of conspiracy to commit the fraud and one count of mail fraud – he was also ordered to pay restitution of $12,596,298.

On March 1 2016 Chan had also appeared as a panellist representing Swansea University at a St. David’s Day event in Brussels called Digital Destination:  Creating Value and Improving Lives’. The promotion before the conference said:  “Swansea University is delighted that Professor Steve Chan will take a leadership role in driving the Big Data agenda forward for Swansea University’s School of ManagementProfessor Steve Chan is the Chair of the Cyber Analytics and Network/Relationship Science Centre at Swansea University and the Chair of Smarter Cities for a Safer Planet and the Internet of Things at Swansea University’s School of Management”.

But it seems Europol were unaware of his past.

Did officials know who he was?

Officials stated: “Large-scale criminal and terrorist networks pose a significant threat to the internal security of the EU and to the safety and livelihood of its people. The biggest security threats come from: terrorism; international drug trafficking and money laundering; organised FRAUD (our capitals)the counterfeiting of euros; trafficking in human beings”.

The anonymous gmail campaign goes on

Meanwhile the astonishing underhand internal gmail campaign continues unabated at scandal-hit Swansea University where Chan used to work on a contract in the controversial School of Management., after we have exclusively disclosed that a previous headline-grabbing Dean had died.

During the long-running campaign a gmail from ‘Your friend’ has been sent, as usual, to the university’s Chair of council Sir Roger Jones as well as staff, coming from a created address which has been used before, called ‘Lilith Sumerian’.  Others have also been employed including ‘The iniquities Of the selfish’ and ‘Ivs Titia’.

Sir Roger Jones has been the main recipient of the ‘Your friend’ gmails

It follows the disturbing disclosure that a FIFTH senior executive has now been suspended during the unparalleled inquiry which has been referred to the police (the contentious Vice-Chancellor {VC} Richard Davies and the Dean of his management school Marc Clement are among those who have already been suspended), and that another senior academic from an Australian university who was slated to become VC has turned the job down.  The message from ‘Your friend’ states in part: “To lose one VC is unfortunate, to lose a second before she even starts must ask something about the priorities and competence of whoever is responsible for such processes. It is time to save your university”.

Paul Boyle was ‘congratulated’ by ‘Your friend’

A volley of anonymous internal messages from ‘Your friend’ followed the news of the appointment of Paul Boyle who is leaving his £285,000 a year job in charge of the University of Leicester to become  VC at Swansea University.

The gmails are marked from a ‘Themis Titaness’ address and one comes in the form of a spoof letter congratulating Professor Boyle on his appointment, but this time has also been sent to the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford. It says:  “The transformed University which you applied to lead remains there, though is suffering internally and publicly under the weight of such deceit”.

‘Your friend’ asks whether the money spent on the investigation was appropriate

Another highly-libellous message includes criticism of an identifiable individual and asks staff tendentiously:  “When will you explain that a never ending smear investigation is an appropriate use of charity funds? When will you accept the damage to the university will cost jobs?” A past statement to staff using the ‘Iniquities Of the selfish’ address was also highly-libellous, and the only part of this gmail we can reproduce is:  “It is time you step up to your responsibilities and take control of the situation“.

What is happening at Swansea University?!

A further one which was sent in the astounding campaign undertaken by  ‘Your friend’ at the university alleged that previous messages were “blocked” and that a “witch hunt” is underway.

This one was addressed to Swansea’s council members and was headlined “More truth”. It also came from a ‘Lilith Sumerian’ address.

One internal gmail at Swansea University talked of a ‘David and Goliath’ situation

This scurrilous gmail included attachments and a section of it read:  “Last week’s email was blocked – here it is below for completeness’ sake. Ask yourself: what else is the leadership keeping from you?… Why is this witch hunt therefore still continuing?”

Another message in the hours afterwards was also addressed to the chair of the university council, as well as staff, and attached a letter from ‘Your friend’ purportedly raising worries about public procurement.

‘Your friend’ said Hilary Lappin-Scott’s ‘global recognition’ had been ‘negated’

It said:  “Dear friends.  I write with concern … about Public Procurement Regulations”. This gmail was marked “Saint Homobonus” and delivered from an address marked “patron of procurement”.

But the internal campaign has been totally ignored by the mainstream media, and has been conducted ever since the incredible investigation was launched.

The mainstream media have ignored the internal campaign

The underhand campaign appears to be designed to undermine the inquiry and boost the reputations of those who have been suspended, as well as key senior executives such as the contentious senior Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) Hilary Lappin-Scott.

Yet The Eye have shown how Professor Lappin-Scott enraged her own workers by sending Tweets from glamorous parts of the world on university ‘business’, and her exploits have become the subject of our satirical writer.

‘Your friend’ thinks we are ‘trolling’ Hilary Lappin-Scott…

The anonymous messages have claimed in the past that Professor Lappin-Scott would lead the university to “an era of gold and honey”. In part, one recent gmail to staff as well as the chair of the Swansea University’s council read:   “Why are these things happening and being leaked to Sion Barry (the Western Mail Business Editor) and, in turn, (our Editor) Phil Parry (someone trolling Professor Hillary {sic} Lappin-Scott) whilst in the middle of an independent internal investigation?”.

‘Don’t get angry Hilary, get even’

Another added:  “Appended below you can find the previous installments (American spelling) and alleges there has been “A trial by media, a kangaroo court, a selection of evidence and suspensions before interviews – almost as if the facts were at odds with the desired outcome”. Although misspelt a further gmail was clear: “Please Hillary (sic) (Lappin-Scott) out (put?) your hat back in the ring!”.

Suspended Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University Richard Davies and the School of Management Dean Marc Clement are under investigation

In one of the internal gmails following disclosures about a Kuwait project which forms part of the investigation and was headlined ‘destruction of value and relationships’, a series of unlawful claims against a named individual were made, and among the few lines we can publish is:  “I am confident we should expect retaliation by the Kuwaitis”.

Professors Clement (top middle) and Davies (bottom left) with other members of the’Wellness’ team

Evidently he or she is unaware of legal rules because as these gmails have been published to a third party they fall within the remit of libel laws. If this person can be found legal action may follow.

University officials have been less keen, though, than the Europol advisory agency to give The Eye information about Chan’s background, and we have been told in the past our questions about him in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request had been refused on the grounds they were “vexatious”.

We were ‘vexatious’ apparently…

Four of the queries we asked in the FOIA were:

  • What was the exact date that Professor Steve Chan of the School of Management registered for his Ph.D at Swansea University? 
  • What was the exact date that he undertook his viva voce examination for his Ph.D? 
  • Who were the members of his Ph.D viva committee (including external examiners)? 
  • Who approved the appointment of the supervisors for his Ph.D?
The misnamed ‘Wellness’ village under investigation

But using documents we have seen we can now disclose that the answer to the first question is October 2012, to the second May 2013, to the third – one is an academic called Andrew ParkerTherefore according to Swansea University’s own regulations, Chan should not have been allowed to take his viva until at least October 2013.

We were the first to break the news that the astonishing suspension of Professor Davies (who has now announced his intention to retire)as well as the officials at the university, and the remarkable investigation launched at the same time, was linked to a massive £200 million regeneration scheme called the Delta Lakes (Llanelli Wellness Village) City Deal and the whole project has been referred to the police.

A leisure centre described as ‘cutting edge’ was in the controversial scheme

Apart from the ‘Wellness’ village, Swansea’s involvement in the enormous plan in Kuwait is also being examined. Senior officers are looking into a ‘joint venture’ in a £600 million proposal for a private medical university and hospital in the middle-eastern state, which aimed to attract 5,000 students. Professors Davies and Clement, were on the proposed academic board for the project and the controversial Carmarthenshire Council Chief Executive, Mark James, is listed as a trustee.  Only last night another libellous ‘Your friend’ gmail was sent out from a ‘Lady Righteous’ stating:  “The incredible opportunity represented by the Kuwait project has been lost to another country”.

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Since the news emerged about Mr James it has been revealed that his role was not listed in the authority’s declaration of interests.

The interest of a European crime fighting body in Chan was obvious however.

Officials used a fraudster to advise them on fraud.

Our Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his extraordinary 35-year award-winning career in journalism as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major new book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now! 

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