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France

Fake architect built schools and crèches around Paris over 30 years

media Cité de l'Architecture, Paris - not built by Leblanc DR

A 60-year-old Frenchman, who pretended to be a qualified architect and was behind the building of schools, crèches and homes near Paris, has been given a two-year suspended prison sentence by a Versailles court.

Philippe Leblanc was also ordered by the judge on Monday to pay between 1,000 and 3,000 euros in damages with interest to several complainants, for abuse of confidence, “even though, in general, the buildings were constructed without problem”.

Leblanc’s lawyer noted that the court had rejected demands for up to 260,000 euros in damages in the event of faults in the architecture leading to disaster.

“That is confirmation that even if my client had no diploma, his buildings were good”, he declared.

Philippe Leblanc said he had, as a student, worked alongside an architect but had never actually obtained his diploma.

“I had a sword of Damocles over my head. I procrastinated, procrastinated and I ended up never getting [the diploma],” he said, explaining that he became caught up in the “spiral” of work.

He was not a member of the architects’ professional body, so on paperwork he used the membership stamp of his brother-in-law, who was.

He was finally exposed after a couple of dissatisfied customers made some basic enquiries.

Over the summer he presented his final dissertation in the hope of finally gaining his official qualifications.

In 15 days he will get the result.
 

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