Harold W. Vadney III is a wannabe translator who lies about his credentials. In August 2007, I exposed him on the now-defunct Network of Independent Linguists’ Discussion Forum. He has now set up a blog devoted to telling lies about me and others. This is my reply. To comment or for further information write to Richard_Benham_AU-StopVadneysLies[at]yahoo.com.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Harold W. Vadney III is a professional liar!

Howard William Vadney III, of New Baltimore, New York, has recently started a blog devoted to defaming me (Richard D. Benham), my colleague P. Scott Horne, several of his neighbours and anyone else who displeases him. This man is a documented liar, and you should not believe any of his drivel.

At one point, Mr Vadney demands “at the very least Truth!” So let’s have a bit of truth.

The truth about Vadney

Mr Vadney accuses me of lying about him on the Network of Independent Linguists’ Discussion Forum, but doesn’t mention what I said there. So here’s a summary:

I accused Mr Vadney of falsely claiming to be a Member of the Institute of Linguists. This accusation is TRUE.

I accused Mr Vadney of falsely claiming to be a Fellow of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce). This accusation is TRUE.

I accused Mr Vadney of falsely claiming to have the degrees of BA and MA from SUNY Albany. This accusation is TRUE.

[Revised information has been received from DegreeChk.com; see “Clarification” below.]

You want proof?

You may be thinking it’s his word against mine. So where’s my proof? Mr Vadney made his fraudulent claims on a number of websites: www.proz.com (from which he has since been kicked out), www.translatorscafe.com (which continues to protect him) and his own commercial website <http://bmtconsult.home.att.net>.
Of course, once the mainstream press starting taking an interest in Mr Vadney’s fraud, he changed his profiles on the translators’ websites and his own site to cover his arse, but it was too late.
Many people had been alerted to his game, and so numerous copies of the pages in which he makes his fraudulent claims were saved.

Of particular interest is the sample of the form used to certify translations.
In it, Mr Vadney signs himself “Harold W. Vadney III, Drt.Med., MA, MIL, FRSA (UK)”. “Drt.Med.” is an abbreviation invented by Mr Vadney, with no significance, except that, like his photograph in a lab-coat emblazoned “Dr. H. W. Vadney” (above), it is clearly intended to create the false impression that he has a medical degree. “MA”, on the other hand, is clear enough. “MIL” stands for “Member of the Institute of Linguists”, and “FRSA” for “Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts” (its full name is “Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce”).

Mr Vadney, I know you will read this. On that form, you acknowledge that telling lies on it constitutes perjury. So doesn’t it follow that, by lying about your qualifications on that very form, you have committed perjury? That was neither the first nor the last occasion when you committed perjury, either, was it?

While I am about it, here is one of his many CVs, this one downloaded from ProZ.com on 2 August, 2007. In it, he clearly claims to hold BA and MA degrees from SUNY Albany and to be a Member of the Institute of Linguists and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

You can easily check his claims to be a Member of the Institute of Linguists (now the Chartered Institute of Linguists, but still commonly known as the IoL) and the RSA. They may not be happy to receive a flood of enquiries, but they answered me civilly, and both gave me the same answer: Mr Vadney is not a member of this organization. As for the degrees, it is a bit harder. SUNY Albany has engaged a commercial organization, www.degreechk.com, to handle enquiries about its graduates and purported graduates. To check Mr Vadney’s credentials, I had to join and pay real money. This is what I got [I have since been sent a revised version; see “Clarification” below for more details]:

Degree Verification Results Your Ref:
Date: 08-01-2007 Time: 00:00:22

Your Degree Verification was assigned Confirmation I.D. 7G718396.
As per our Service Agreement, your credit card has been charged $7.50
for the processing of this verification request.
Section I. Summary of information provided for this verification:
| This Verification Requested By
| Your Name : Richard Davey Benham
| On Behalf of : SELF
| School Name : University at Albany State University of New York
| Candidate Information
| First Name : HAROLD
| Middle Name : WILLIAM
| Last Name : VADNEY
| Other First :
| Other Last :
| Social Sec. #:
| Birth Date : 10-27-1950
| Degrees & Dates:

Section II. Results of our degree verification processing:
|Based upon the information you supplied (name/date of birth),
|we can confirm that this individual was awarded the following
|degree(s) by University at Albany State University of New York.
|Since name/date of birth are not necessarily unique, re-running
|with a social security no. would serve to increase your
|confidence in the results.
| Conferred: 12-23-1977
| Major(s): GERMAN
| Minor(s): PSYCHOLOGY
|Thank you for your business. If you have any questions regarding
|these search results or the charges for this verification, please call
|us at 1-800-646-1858.
|All services provided by us are subject to the terms and conditions of
|the CREDENTIALS INC SERVICE AGREEMENT which is available for viewing
|on our web site at www.degreechk.com

There is no surprise in finding that Mr Vadney lied about his BA and MA degrees; after all he lied about the IoL and RSA memberships. [Please ignore the rest of this paragraph; see below for explanation.] It is, however, slightly surprising to find he had a BS degree and didn’t mention it. He seems to be allergic to the truth, even when it is to his advantage.

So there you have it: proof that Mr Vadney claimed to be a Member of the IoL, proof that he claimed to be a Fellow of the RSA, and proof that he claimed to have an MA degree; and all this combined with proof that he had none of these credentials (just contact the organizations concerned).

What about Mr Vadney’s other claims?

Mr Vadney claims I “forged” my email address. This is another lie. After Mr Vadney sent me some harassing and abusive emails, I replied informing him that his emails to my normal email address would be filtered, and asking him to use another address. This address, although set up as a “disposable” address attached to my Yahoo! account, remains valid to this day, as Mr Vadney could easily have checked by sending me an email and waiting for my response.

Mr Vadney claims I breached Bravenet’s copyright. Yet another lie. What I did was to post, as a matter of historical record, the forum thread in which I exposed Mr Vadney for the fraud and the liar that he is. I think that comes under fair dealing. In any case, I have removed the tacky Bravenet graphics and left the content. It’s at <http://www.rbenham.com/NIL/682226>

There are also some mindless assertions and innuendos concerning the identity of the IoL forum moderator Dina. Dina has been contributing under that name to the IoL forum for over five years. Of course, Mr Vadney would have us believe that I created this identity to “defame” (read “expose”) him after the Network of Independent Linguists’ forum was closed down by Bravenet (on the basis of Mr Vadney’s unfounded complaint that he he had been “defamed” there; is it even possible to defame a worm like Vadney?). Pity it doesn’t tie in with the facts. Quite apart from this, Dina has not made any allegations about Mr Vadney or anyone else on that forum, but only reported objectively facts in the public domain. Dina has made it quite clear on several occasions that the name is a pseudonym to preserve anonymity. So I shall not engage in or fuel any speculation on that subject.

Lastly, and perhaps most bizarrely, Mr Vadney has used his alleged “discovery” that I am Dina and my friendship with Mr Horne to fuel all sorts of lurid homophobic innuendos about my sexuality. One wonders what he is trying to hide. As it happens, I am not gay, but I would like to reassure any gay friends, colleagues and others who might be reading that I do not judge them on the example of Mr Vadney.

Vadney and the IoL

I have had my own disagreements with the IoL over the years. However, Mr Vadney’s attack on the organization is totally unjustified.

Apparently, his problem is that they have not removed some posts referring to his having been exposed as lying about his credentials. But why would they?

When I was approached to publish an exposé of Vadney on the Network of Independent Linguists’ discussion forum, I of course independently verified the accusations against him for the obvious legal reasons. As one of Vadney’s lies was to claim membership of the IoL, I had of course to write to them. In her reply, the IoL officer who handled my enquiry asked where Vadney had been making these claims; so I told her. This means that, by the time Mr Vadney got to complaining to the IoL about the posts referring to his fraudulent activities, people there already knew at first hand that he was a liar and a fraud. So of course they ignored his complaints.


Vadney has recently claimed that the information I got from DegreeChk.com was “inaccurate”. Obviously he has approached them about it, and they have sent me a corrected statement of Mr Vadney’s degree status. It turns out that the BS in German, with a minor in psychology, was actually a BA in German, with a minor in psychology. Still no mention of this alleged MA, which was always the real issue.

Vadney has tried to draw attention away from his blatant lies, fraud and perjury by scurrilous and irrelevant attacks on me and others. I hope I don’t need to point out that there was no wrongdoing on my part: I reported accurately the information I was given by DegreeChk.com. The question of whether Mr Vadney had a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Science degree is not the issue: the point is, as it always was, that despite his claims, the Vadney never had a master’s degree.

MAKE NO MISTAKE: Vadney lied about his qualifications.

By the way, if I really had got the information fraudulently, would DegreeChk.com have sent me an update?

Also note that, having found a mistake in the information I was given and relied upon in good faith, I have corrected it without trying to cover my tracks, unlike the Vadney, who told a pack of lies in very bad faith, and then, on being exposed, tried to cover his tracks by changing his résumés and profiles without admitting that the previous versions were fraudulent misrepresentations.
Harold Vadney. Harold W. Vadney. Harold William Vadney. translator Harold William Vadney III


Scott Horne said...

Mr Harold Vadney was exposed as a monstrous fraud in "Candidate Lists False Credentials", the lead article in Section D of the Albany, New York, Times Union of 22 Aug 2007. This article corroborates what Richard has said about Mr Harold Vadney. It also reports "bogus credentials" that Mr Vadney used "in certifying translations of documents sent to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services" and a military medal claimed by Mr Vadney that "was later revoked".

BG said...

All you have to do is admit you are DINA, Mr Benham.

Mr Horne, have you been served with the Notice of Claim yet? Have you attempted to cross the border yet? Just curious.

BG said...

Oh, by the way. Isn't it true that Mr Benham fed the gullible reporter the false facts that were included in the libelous article to which you are referring?

RBenham said...

Mr Vadney, as soon as I find a way to stop you posting your drivel here, I will do so. In the meantime, please refrain from making further comments here.

In answer to your questions (so far as they concern me):

Dina's identity is totally irrelevant; she hasn't said anything about you that wasn't in the public domain already.

The only gullible reporter I am aware of in all this is Donna Rich, who is not only gullible, but also incompetent, unethical and unprofessional. The extent to which she swallowed your pack of lies and published it as truth was limited only by her inability to get things right. Contrary to your assertions, I did not "trash" her, but only because I didn't get around to it. She lost her job anyway.

If you think the Times Union and Greenville Press articles are so defamatory, why don't you sue the publishers?

BG said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scott Horne said...

I shall be happy to publish my entire correspondence with Ms Donna Rich here, if Richard deems that appropriate.

RBenham said...

Scott. Feel free to post your correspondence with Ms Rich. However, she is a bit of a sideshow, just one of Vadney's dupes.

Scott Horne said...

Again, everyone is invited to read the article "Candidate Lists False Credentials", by journalist Scott Waldman. Although Mr Harold Vadney claims here that the facts cited by Mr Waldman were "false" and calls the article itself "libelous", Mr Vadney himself was interviewed for the article, and his responses are quoted. If the claims were "false", surely Mr Vadney would have corrected them. In fact, he admitted several of them. For example, when asked about a purported master's degree in psychology and philology that the university denied having awarded, "Vadney said he completed all the course work for the degree, which he said was in German, but never took a final exam. He said it was his 'presumption' that he could list the degree because he had learned the material."

Almost as soon as this article came out, Mr Vadney's Web pages underwent several rounds of editing. Most of the claims exposed in Mr Waldman's article disappeared, and the photo of the lab coat was edited at least twice to mask the name "Dr. H. W. Vadney". Why would Mr Vadney suddenly take all those claims down, if they were true?

Later I shall dig up my correspondence with Ms Rich and post it here.

Translator Translator said...

It's interesting that Mr Harold Vadney is complaining on his blog that you don't allow free speech, yet the only place one can post a comment is here, not on his blog...


RBenham said...

Hello TT. Freedom of speech is not an issue here. Mr Vadney, for the moment at least, is free to publish his lies on his own blog. I have not deleted the two comments he posted before I asked him to stop posting. His third comment was defamatory, and so, for obvious legal reasons, I could not let it stand.

RBenham said...

I have had to modify the message above. I had misquoted Vadney: he had capitalized the word “Truth”.

It seems Mr Vadney worships truth...from afar.

Scott Horne said...

I sent this message to Ms Donna Rich (formerly of the Catskill, New York, Daily Mail), at 6:33 pm on August 25, 2007.

Subject: Incompetent journalism at the _Daily Mail_

Dear Ms Rich:

I read with interest your tendentious article "Town Judge Candidate's Resume Questioned", about Mr Harold W Vadney III, in today's _Daily Mail_. It stands in sharp contrast to the highly professional article by Mr Scott Waldman of the _Times Union_ to which you alluded (without properly citing it or even describing it).

Specifically, Mr Waldman, responsible journalist that he is, took the trouble of citing sources and checking facts before going to press. He also interviewed Mr Vadney and published Mr Vadney's responses to the recent revelations.

You, by contrast, apparently got all of your information from Mr Vadney and did not lift a finger to verify any of it. You certainly did not interview me before presuming to publish numerous statements that are false, if not downright defamatory. Allow me to correct a few of your many errors:

First of all, I am not "of Indonesia"; I live in Canada, just four hours up I-87 from Greene County. My dear friend and colleague Richard Benham, whose name you managed to misspell, currently lives in Indonesia, not in Canada.

Second, I have never had any "profile" at BraveNet.com, let alone one that was "deleted".

Third, I was never "taken off of [_sic_] BraveNet.com" at all and certainly did not "violat[e] the terms of service". I have never had any relationship of any kind with BraveNet.com, nor any communication with the site's representatives.

Fourth, if Mr Vadney did indeed allege in "e-mail sent to editors of several local newspapers ... last Friday" that the page bearing the exposé of his contemptible lies had been taken down by BraveNet.com, he was, yet again, telling what may be daintily called an untruth. The page was still up on Saturday evening. It was finally taken down in apparent response to a complaint by Mr Vadney, simply because BraveNet.com, which had hosted those Web pages free of charge, was understandably eager to avoid one of the frivolous and vexatious lawsuits that have earned Mr Vadney a certain renown. The publication of Mr Waldman's article completely vindicates those who exposed Mr Vadney's false claims.

Fifth, I never posted anything pertaining to Vadney on ProZ.com. I do not even have an account there; I deleted my account a few weeks ago on the grounds that the site caters to charlatans and incompetents, to the detriment of the profession. Incidentally, Mr Vadney's own account, which had been used as a vehicle for numerous whopping lies, vanished on Wednesday evening. Could it be that ProZ deleted that account in response to Mr Waldman's brilliant article? Someone might like to ask ProZ.

How you can say that anyone "besmirched" Mr Vadney's phony "credentials" is beyond me. Yours is a curious choice of words. But what else can be expected in a puff piece that doesn't even pretend to be responsible journalism? Do you find nothing newsworthy about the recent revelations of Mr Vadney's dishonesty? You published two and a half columns of idle speculations about putative violations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act but did not even mention that Mr Vadney's widely circulated résumé (in various inconsistent versions) has been proven to be more tripe than truth. Might you be one of "at least two newspaper publishers who know me [Mr Vadney] well and have agreed to cooperate", as Mr Vadney averred in a letter sent to one professional translator less than a week ago? To me that sounds very much like a conspiracy to interfere with the elections. Perhaps the relevant authorities would like to conduct a little investigation of their own.

You also failed to ask why Mr Vadney constantly invokes his "privacy" if, according to his recent e-mail to your editor, he is so eager to "open [him]self up to healthy inquiry. By your own admission, he has used legal and administrative avenues to pry into Judge Farrell's "educational background", so why is Mr Vadney's own "educational background" off limits? Sauce for goose, sauce for gander.

As for Mr Vadney's military record, I did not investigate it myself, so I cannot say how the information was obtained (or by whom). I did, however, visit the Web site of the National Personnel Records Center, where in one minute flat I learned that a substantial amount of information on former members of the US armed forces is available for the asking. (Finding the link in question is left as an exercise to the astute reader.) Never mind. Mr Vadney has advised you of your "right to know about [your] elected officials", so why not ask him to sign a consent form so that you can discover exactly why his medal was revoked? I am confident that the voters of Greene County would like to know. If you cannot or will not find out, perhaps the commissioner of elections will investigate.

In closing, I thank you for putting Mr Vadney on record as "vow[ing] to pursue this matter in both Indonesia and Canada". Although you do not say what "this matter" is, I construe Mr Vadney's vow as a threat against Richard Benham and me. Please be advised that I have never been a shrinking violet. I shall very aggressively fight any attempt to harass me. In various illiterate e-mail messages, Mr Vadney has recently implored respectable professional translators to "PLEASE ... keep your mouth shut!" and has threatened to "turn [them] in in a New York minute". He has also published defamatory comments that may be used against him, should the occasion arise.

Very truly yours,
Scott Horne
Montréal, Québec (nowhere near Indonesia)

RBenham said...

Thanks for that, Scott. I intended to write to the publisher of that rag about Ms Rich’s unprofessional article, but never got around to it.

Funny how the Times Union and the Greenville Press interviewed both me and Vadney, came out heavily against Vadney, but the Daily Mail interviewed only Vadney, and, despite the overwhelming evidence against him, took his fantasies as gospel.

Scott Horne said...

Ms Rich sent this reply twenty-four minutes later. The comment about a "Ms. Ross" (who was not named in any of the newspaper coverage of Mr Vadney) reveals that Ms Rich was getting her information from Mr Vadney and was merely doing his bidding.

Mr. Horne,

There are many things that I did not have time to report on; however, me thinks thou dost protest too much.

If you'd like to talk we can do that. Ms. Ross must have the number.

Donna Rich

Scott Horne said...

I sent this in reply to Ms Rich. (One correction: The date of these three messages was August 24, not August 25, as I stated above.)

Ms Rich:

Pray tell, who is the Ms Ross to whom you referred? I've got YOUR number, but I'm afraid I don't have hers.

Scott Horne

RBenham said...

Proof that Donna Rich is Vadney in drag! ;-)

The “information” published by Donna Rich in the Daily Mail nothing more or less than a rehash of Vadney’s views, lies and fantasies. The reference, noted by Scott above, to Ms Ross, a defendant in one of Mr Vadney’s vexatious and frivolous lawsuits, can only have come from Vadney.

Also, Mr Vadney likes to big-note himself, and play the high-powered businessman, hence the pseudonym “Rich”, although he apparently can’t even afford a lawyer. And “Donna”? Leaving aside all speculations about Mr Vadney’s sexual orientation, he presumably wanted to adopt a female identity to throw people off the scent, and even he must know that donna is Italian for “woman”.

Oh, and the clincher: “Ms” Rich had trouble with the spelling of my name. So does “Mr” Vadney: his blog went through several rounds of changes with my name spelt “BENAHM” in the list of keywords.

You think this “proof” is a bit thin? Well, it is much stronger than any evidence Mr Vadney has produced for any of his statements. In fact, he has not produced one single skerrick of evidence for any one of his outlandish and outrageous assertions.

Scott Horne said...

Perhaps Donna is her middle name and Prima her first.

RBenham said...

Maybe he had been drinking too much Riccadonna when he thought of the pseudonym.

Scott Horne said...

Finding a skerrick (great word, Richard) of truth in the tissue of lies woven by Mr Vadney is proving to be difficult. Mr Vadney even lies about his native languages, claiming both English and German. From the numerous questions—some 1500—that he has posted at ProZ and other sites for unprofessional pseudo-translators, it is clear that Mr Vadney does not even read German competently. How could he possibly be a "native" speaker?

The translation business is positively overrun by charlatans, crooks, frauds, incompetents, blockheads, morons, narcissists, and other scum.

RBenham said...

I hadn’t really thought of “skerrick” as an unusual word before.

As for Vadney’s lying about his native language(s), it is unfortunately so common I didn’t even think to mention it.

Unfortunately, I suspect that lying about one’s credentials may also be far more common than I had imagined. What makes Mr Vadney special is that he has responded to being exposed by a virulent campaign of further lies against those who exposed him.

Scott Horne said...

I am well known among translators for defending professionalism. Our clients deserve excellent quality, polite service, integrity, and fairness. I shall never apologise for denouncing unethical and incompetent practitioners.

Not much more remains to be said about Mr Vadney. Everyone can see that he has lied about his credentials, tried to pass himself off as a doctor, and committed many other acts of deception (to use a polite word). I don't have much else to say for now.

RBenham said...

Yeah, good idea. Let the pathetic wanker rant and rave and make a laughing-stock of himself on his own.

RBenham said...


To avoid any confusion, I did respond to the pathetically fawning pro-Vadney article in the Daily Mail. It was the subject of a press kit, which is still available at <http://www.rbenham.com/Vadney/Press_Kit.zip>. This press kit also contains copies of my correspondence with Vadney and with the appallingly unprofessional Ms Lisa Deyo, (then) Publisher/Editor of the Southern Albany County Ledger (which has been known to devote multi-page “news” spreads to the opening of a new salon...), as well as further Vadney self-promotional material, the emails I got from degreechk.com, RSA and IoL in response to my enquiries, and plenty of other stuff.

I have also included a link to Mr Vadney’s ProZ.com CV in the main message. The added paragraph is in bold. This CV is one of those included in the press kit.

Scott Horne said...

So the "inaccurate" information was that a BA was listed as a BS. Big deal. Will Vadney now admit, as he did (sort of) to the Times Union, that he in fact does not have a master's degree?

About Me

I am a professional translator in the combinations French>English and German>English. I hold qualifications from the University of Adelaide (BA, DipCompSc), the Australian National University (LittB), the University of Geneva (Certificat de spécialisation en linguistique), and the the UK-based Institute of Linguists (Diploma in Translation for both my language combinations). I am an implacable opponent of bullshit in all its forms.