Authorities are investigating how a fraudster who has previously been jailed for serious offences overseas was able to teach at a Wodonga school under a false name.
American businessman Andrew Jeffrey Flanagan has previously conned his way into multiple six-figure jobs with salaries of up to $400,000, including as an executive at Myer, a position at Bendigo Health, a job with the Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Specialty Fashion Group.
He used fake resumes to land the jobs.
Flanagan was confronted during his first day at Myer after his false work experience was discovered, walked out, and never returned.
He lasted just seven weeks into his $180,000 a year job in Bendigo before a drunken incident led to his dismissal.
Flanagan went by the name Jeffrey O'Flannagan while employed at Wodonga Middle Years, and has also used the name Jeffery Wayne Flanagan.
He taught various subjects at the school in 2020 and last year before being suspended by teaching authorities and referred to police.
A Victoria Police spokesman has confirmed an investigation is active.
"Police have taken reports in relation to an alleged fraud that occurred at an education facility in Wodonga between 2020-2021," Leading Senior Constable Adam West said.
"At this stage the investigation is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment any further."
No charges have been pressed against the man, aged in his mid-50s.
Flanagan is listed under the name Jeffrey O'Flannagan on a Victorian Institute of Teaching disciplinary action list.
He is listed as being a registered teacher with the institute, but that his registration was suspended from December 12 last year.
The VIT checks and verifies prospective teachers, including on security grounds, with only those given registration by the agency able to work.
A judge, in sentencing Flanagan in 2015 over three charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception, and one attempted charge, noted he had given "grossly fraudulent resumes and (had) dishonest friends lie when they were contacted by the employers to enquire about the work history".
"While the employers had professional human resources staff and were aided in some cases by professional recruitment consultants, they were all taken in by your deceptions and the companies lost money," Judge Gerard Mullaly said.
He was jailed in Texas in the 1990s for assault, burglary, reckless driving and resisting arrest.
A Department of Education and Training spokesman said he was no longer an employee.
A VIT spokeswoman was unable to say why he was suspended.
"The VIT is responsible for ensuring only qualified and suitable persons are registered to teach in a school or early childhood service in Victoria," the spokeswoman said.
"The VIT conducts investigations into teachers who are alleged to have engaged in misconduct or inappropriate behaviour and may suspend a teacher's registration on an interim basis if it reasonably believes that the person poses an unacceptable risk to child safety, and the suspension is necessary to protect children."
The police investigation into the Wodonga matters continues.
- The Border Mail
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