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Convicted CEO avoids prison

06 September 2013

by Donald Nannestad


The former chief executive of the diocese of Lincoln, Maximilian Manin, has been given a suspended sentence after admitting that he lied about his qualifications to obtain his job (News, 26 July). 

Mr Manin, aged 54, who secured his position in 2004 on the basis that he had a degree, was later found to have dropped out of his course at the University of Sheffield, and never took his final exams.

Nottingham Crown Court was told that, although Mr Manin had lied about his educational achievements, he subsequently admitted his criminal past, and, before taking up the appointment, confessed to having previously served a prison sentence for theft, under a different name.

The Recorder of Nottingham, His Honour Judge Michael Stokes, paraphrased the Gospel of St Luke as he passed sentence on Mr Manin. He told him: "He who exalted himself shall be humbled. He who humbled himself shall be exalted. You are now humbled because you have to plead guilty to these charges. . . It really is disgraceful behaviour to rely on the Christian charity of the Bishop and reveal your previous convictions when, at the same time, giving a completely false impression of your qualifications." 

He was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

Mr Manin, from Perth, in Scotland, admitted obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, and also admitted to a charge of fraud after lying about his qualifications when applying for a job with the Penny Brohn Cancer Charity, based in Bristol, in 2007.

Jonathan Dee, prosecuting, said that Mr Manin would never have been granted an interview if his lack of a degree had been known, as it was a requirement of the job.

Mr Dee told the court that it was only after he was appointed that Mr Manin told the then Bishop of Lincoln, Dr John Saxbee, that he was actually a convicted criminal who had changed his name from Stephen Embleton, as part of his attempts at a fresh start. Bishop Saxbee subsequently consulted with his two suffragan bishops before it was agreed that Mr Manin should still be allowed to take up the post.

In 1993, Mr Manin had been given a six-month sentence at Wood Green Crown Court for three of- fences of theft, and three offences of false accounting. Those charges related to thefts from an NHS medical practice where he worked.

Mr Manin's lack of qualifications came to light only after a project that he headed (to convert the redundant church of St Michael on the Mount in Lincoln, into hotel accommodation) overspent by more than £300,000. He was suspended, and a subsequent inquiry discovered that he possessed neither the degree he claimed nor a management diploma. He left his post in the summer of last year after receiving a pay-off of £25,000.

Mr Dee said: "It is a sad day for society that even the Church cannot take people on trust."

Alison Summers, mitigating, said that Mr Manin was remorseful, and had worked hard while he was employed by the diocese.

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