Beds, Herts & Bucks

Tina Beloveth Powerful: Fraudster forms new college in Nigeria

Tina Beloveth Powerful
Image caption Tina Beloveth Powerful has been on the run since she failed to turn up for sentencing after being found guilty of fraud at Milton Keynes Magistrates' Court

A fraudster who skipped court bail after being found guilty of running a bogus business school has started a similar venture in Nigeria.

Tina Beloveth Powerful, 50, who was found guilty of fraud and false advertising in July 2015, claims the case against her was later expunged.

She unexpectedly contacted the BBC to back Theresa May in the Conservative leadership contest on Wednesday night.

Thames Valley Police confirmed a warrant for her arrest was outstanding.

Nothing had been heard of Powerful since June 2016 when she claimed she wanted to be Nigeria's first female president.

On Wednesday, she contacted a BBC reporter on Facebook from Nigeria, wishing them a "Merry Christmas" and saying Mrs May should be given time to "finish what she has started".

'Community builder'

Powerful then claimed she had been given a "police discharge certificate" clearing her of her crimes.

She added she would return to Milton Keynes, where she was "one of the builders of the local community".

When Powerful sent the BBC a copy of the document, it was actually a "notification of decision to release without charge" relating to her arrest for failing to turn up at court for sentencing.

Powerful said she was now "championing the cause of good leadership in Nigeria and beyond".

The BBC discovered she is running a new business school in the Nigerian city of Enugu.

Image caption Powerful ran her fraudulent Everest School of Transformational Management from her flat in Milton Keynes

Powerful first came to prominence in 2013, when her Havard School was sued by American university Harvard.

The case was settled out of court, but a BBC investigation found the school, which changed its name to the Everest School of Transformational Management, was offering courses without the correct accreditation.

Milton Keynes Council Trading Standards launched its own investigation, resulting in Powerful being found guilty of "dishonesty".

She failed to turn up to court for sentencing three times before leaving the country.

The BBC discovered she formed another business school in Bedford while on trial.

The BBC asked Thames Valley Police what was being done to bring Powerful to justice, but the force had not replied at the time of writing.

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