Woman Who Lied on Her Resume to Score Job with $185K Salary Sentenced to Year in Prison

Claudia Harmata

A woman was sentenced to at least one year in prison for falsifying her resume and references to obtain a high-paying job with the South Australian regional government.

On Tuesday, Veronica Hilda Theriault was sentenced to 25 months in jail with a non-parole period of 12 months after pleading guilty to deception, dishonesty and abuse of public office, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and CNN.

Theriault had been a chief information officer within South Australia’s Department of Premier and Cabinet, a position she obtained by lying on her resume and faking references in 2017. The position pays an annual salary of $185,000 ($270,000 Australian dollars).

After securing an interview using the fake resume, Theriault impersonated a reference named “Ms. Best,” and gave herself “glowing feedback” during the reference check, ABC reported. She also had her brother, Alan Corkill, pose as a reference from Wotif, an accommodation booking company — though neither sibling had worked there, according toThe Washington Post.

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Theriault also used an image of supermodel Kate Upton as her profile photo on LinkedIn during the hiring process and helped her brother secure a government contract that earned him $21,000.

Her employment with the DPC lasted only a month, during which she earned about $33,000. The Post reported that Theriault was arrested in Sept. 2017, along with her brother.

In a statement to The Post, the DPC said Theriault “was appointed following a competitive selection process” but that they grew concerned about her “her capability and conduct” soon after she started work in August 2017. They also said that a “more vigorous pre-employment screening requirements for senior roles” was implemented.

The DPC did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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A lawyer for Theriault previously told the court that Theriault had stopped taking her medication for her bipolar disorder prior to committing the offenses.

District Court Judge Michael Boylan, who delivered the sentence, said he considered her mental health in his decision.

“This is serious offending — 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,” he said, according to ABC.

Theriault’s lawyer did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

The court also found that in addition to lying on her resume and references, Theriault falsified a pay slip to negotiate a higher salary and a doctor’s note that claimed she was fit to work. However, she was not charged for these additional findings.