Policeman sanctioned for 'blatantly' lying in resumé

'Deceiving prospective employers with such deliberate and calculated lies is appalling behaviour'

Policeman sanctioned for 'blatantly' lying in resumé

A former decorated policeman from the United Kingdom was punished with community service by a Victorian county court for lying in his resumé, a deception that landed him a job where he earned over $450,000.

ABC News reported that the former UK policeman, who migrated to Australia with his family in 2007, lied about his work and education history in his resumé and cover letter when applying to the Department of Treasury and Finance and Frankston city council.

In his application, he claimed that he was a detective inspector for the UK National Crime Squad and a Leeds University fellow. He also claimed to have earned a Bachelor of Education from Aston University and two diplomas from Guildford University.

The truth, however, is that the offender was a detective constable at Sussex police, and that Guildford University does not exist, according to a probe.

With his fabricated information, the former policeman landed a job at the Department of Treasury and Finance and Frankston city council, where he was paid a total of $456,038 for several years.

Later, the former officer also faked his way to the Victorian Ombudsman by creating a fake referee named "Dr John Marshall," who he claimed supervised him at Frankston council. This job paid him $196,857, according to a report from the Australian Associated Press.

During the hearing, Judge Angela Ellis said his lies were "probably entirely unnecessary."

"In order to secure yourself employment, you not only exaggerated your experience, you blatantly lied," said the judge as quoted by ABC News. "Deceiving prospective employers with such deliberate and calculated lies is appalling behaviour indeed."

According to Ellis, she found it "puzzling" on why the former policeman had to fabricate information on his application when he was a "genuinely well-decorated" officer in the UK who appeared capable of the jobs he applied for.

As punishment, the court handed him a two-year community corrections order, He must perform 180 hours of unpaid community work and submit himself to mental health treatment and rehabilitation.

The court said the offender was "ashamed" of what he did, according to the ABC report, adding that he felt the "urgent need" to impress his recruiters.

Read more: Six ways to catch resume lies

How to handle resumé misrepresentation

Applicants lying on their resumé might not be too strange to HR, but how should they handle such cases and prevent them from happening?

Trent Sebbens, partner at Ashurst, previously spoke to HRD and offered advice to HR when it comes to recruitment.

Sebbens said it is important for HR to carry out during the recruitment process a comprehensive background on the applicants' information, including education and past employment references, criminal history, credit and financial history, health checks and medical screening, and if necessary to the role, social media and internet checks.

According to Sebbens, an employment contract should include a warranty that they are suitable for the job, and that they have relevant registrations when the role requires it.

"Thirdly, perhaps more generally but also critically, a general warranty that the information that they have provided to the employer in the pre-employment process about their experience and skills is correct," said Sebbens.

"If that warranty is then breached then obviously there are steps that can be taken by the employer, including bringing the employment to an end for breach of the warranty within the contract."

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