Offering essay-writing or related services to students in advanced schooling.

Offering essay-writing or related services to students in advanced schooling.

Identification of companies

Included in a separate project we identified approximately 1000 distinct websites offering essay-writing or related services to students in advanced schooling. We analysed the sites to identify those that indicated that they are owned by companies listed at Companies House in the UK, which means that they can run as ‘legitimate’ businesses and that they are susceptible 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 few additional sites from Australia and also the USA, making an overall total of 31 sites. We have not included the identity associated with companies that are specific this publication for the following reasons: 1. We usually do not need to further advertise the services of these companies, either through this publication or through any publicity connected with it. 2. We have no guarantee that the ongoing company number given on these websites is truly compared to the organization which runs the website. In some cases the names are exactly the same however in others this is simply not the case. 3. The content of the article is opinion that is academic not the cornerstone for legal proceedings. We now have shared, confidentially paper writing service, the identities of this companies because of the reviewers with this manuscript and in addition utilizing the UK Quality Assurance Agency who also identified a number of UK-based companies inside their recent report on essay mills (QAA 2016).

In July 2016 we accessed those sites of the companies to handle a series of questions (Table 1) which may then let us consider the relevant parts of the Fraud Act. Questions were addressed by one author (VI) with cross checking by a second (MD). For the final question “Is the advertising potentially misleading (compared to disclaimer/terms + conditions)?”, the authors considered the advertising to be misleading if it were a student’s own work, without citing the company if it(for example) gave the impression that work purchased from the site could be submitted as.

Shown below are questions that we asked for the websites. We then considered the Fraud Act at length, informed by answers towards the questions below.

The Fraud Act

The Act (UK Government 2006) offers up a general offence of fraud, defined through the three means of committing it, which are (1) by false representation, (2) by failing continually to disclose information and (3) by abuse of position. Each is dealt with in a section that is separate of Act. It is also an offence, underneath the Act, to obtain services dishonestly and/or to own, make or supply articles to be used in fraud(s).

We will consider Section 2 associated with act (‘fraud by false representation’) later in this paper but at this time it is appropriate to briefly address Section 3 for the Act rendering it an offence to fail to disclose, to some other, information which is why there is certainly a legal duty to disclose. For example failing continually to disclose information pertaining to a contract of insurance or a physician failing continually to disclose to a hospital that one patients referred by him or her for treatment are private patients, thereby avoiding a fee for the services provided. A legal duty to disclose information can arise due to a contract between two parties or because of the existence of a particular form of professional relationship between them; as an example, a relationship that is solicitor/client. In its report on Fraud (Report on a reference under section 3(1 e that is)( for the Law Commissions Act 1965 No. 276 Cm 5560 2002) the Law Commission made the following comments in regards to the circumstances for which a legal duty might arise:

“7.28 … Such a duty may are derived from statute (such as the provisions governing company prospectuses), from the fact that the transaction at issue is one of the utmost good faith (such as for example a contract of insurance), through the express or implied regards to a contract, from the custom of a particular trade or market, or through the existence of a fiduciary relationship between the parties (such as compared to agent and principal).

7.29 for this specific purpose there clearly was a duty that is legal disclose information not only if the defendant’s failure to disclose it provides the victim a factor in action for damages, but also in the event that law provides the victim a right to set aside any improvement in his / her legal position to which he or she may consent as a consequence of the non- disclosure. For example, an individual in a fiduciary position has a duty to reveal material information when stepping into a contract together with or her beneficiary, within the sense that a deep failing to create such disclosure will entitle the beneficiary to rescind the contract and to reclaim any property transferred under it.”

Thus a question that is key whether essay mills owe a legal duty with 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 is absolutely no obvious legal fiduciary relationship between the assistor and the customer (a fiduciary is somebody who has undertaken to act for or on the part of another in a certain matter in circumstances which bring about a relationship of trust and confidence). Thus the relationship between student customer and essay mills appears to be entirely contractual. In the first instance therefore the legal duty in the the main company is simply to comply with the conditions and terms associated with the contract which for the most part are set into the conditions and terms of business drafted by them. These do not routinely place a duty that is legal the business to disclose information about the possible consequences of good use by a student as well as in any event as discussed below they routinely warn up against the submitting of the essay without the right attribution.

Section 3b (i) and (ii) associated with the Act go on to provide that an offence is only committed if by failing continually to disclose information the defendant “intended to make a gain for him or to cause loss to another or expose another to a risk of loss”. A company intends to make a financial gain, i.e. continue in business and there is potential for risk of loss by the student customer by failing to give information that use of the essay through submission at an educational institution may lead to an academic misconduct claim. However essay mills are not usually under a duty that is legal the very first place to provide this information plus in fact as discussed underneath the terms and conditions of business usually specifically address this point through disclaimers in relation to utilization of the essay (Similarly an offence under section 4 associated with Act – abuse of position – is effectively negated).

We look at the position in relation to advertising used by essay mills later in this paper – there clearly was a duty that is legal to mislead established aside from through the Fraud Act 2006.