Employee Jailed for Resume Fraud Shows Need for References and Verifications

Resume Fraud

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

An Australian woman who committed resume fraud to land a high-paying position with the regional government has been sentenced to at least a year in prison, according to a CNN report, a story that shows why employers need reference checks and past employment and education verifications on job applicants.

On December 4, 2019, CNN reported that Veronica Hilda Theriault, 46, was convicted “of deception, dishonesty, and abuse of public office, relating to her 2017 application for the chief information officer role, which came with an annual salary of 270,000 Australian dollars (US$185,000).”

Theriault – who received a 25-month sentence with a non-parole period of a year after pleading guilty to all charges – “worked in the position with South Australia’s Department of the Premier and Cabinet for over a month and earned about 33,000 Australian dollars ($22,500) before being fired,” CNN reported.

CNN also reported that Theriault “submitted a fraudulent resume to the department with false information relating to her education and prior employment” and “also posed as a previous employer during a reference check, in which she ‘gave glowing feedback’ about her own performance.”

Theriault – who also used resume fraud to obtain jobs in 2012 and 2014 – was told by Judge Michael Boylan in his sentencing remarks: “You fraudulently obtained employment for which you were paid a large salary and in the course of which you may have had access to sensitive material,” CNN reported.

Although some employers may treat resumes as facts, they are a marketing tool for many job applicants. While it is not unusual for applicants to present themselves as favorably a possible, problems can arise when resumes cross the line into resume fraud with lies that qualify them as more like works of fiction.

“Most employers know from experience that if an applicant got the job fraudulently, he or she is likely to be a poor performer,” explained Attorney Lester Rosen, the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of leading global background check provider Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).

“When an applicant’s resume misrepresents things like past job titles, responsibilities, employment dates, skills, experience, or academic credentials, employers waste valuable time and run the risk of making a bad hiring decision,” said Rosen, the author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual.’

Human Resources (HR) professionals and background check firms have both seen an alarming increase in resume fraud. In addition, resume fraud is made easier by websites that create a false employment history for applicants or provide applicants with worthless degrees from diploma mills.  

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) gives employers the flexibility to customize reference checks and employment and education verifications to help them to uncover resume fraud. To learn more about these services from ESR, please visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Verifications-References/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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