04/12/2019 - 16:01

Veronica Theriault jailed for fraud

04/12/2019 - 16:01

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A business consultant who worked extensively in Perth has been jailed for nearly two years after she faked her credentials to secure a job as chief information officer for the South Australian government.

Veronica Theriault was sentenced for 25 months' jail with a non-parole period of 12 months.

A business consultant who worked extensively in Perth has been jailed for nearly two years after she faked her credentials to secure a job as chief information officer for the South Australian government.

Veronica Hilda Theriault, also known as JoAnn Theriault, was sentenced in SA’s District Court yesterday for 25 months' jail with a non-parole period of 12 months.

Judge Michael Boylan described her offending as serious and with an element of planning.

"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," the judge said.

Ms Theriault, whose home address was given as Claremont, was suffering from a bipolar disorder when she was appointed CIO in the Department of Premier & Cabinet in 2017, with an annual salary of $270,000.

She was employed for approximately a month before her mental health declined and her crimes were uncovered.

Ms Theriault pleaded guilty to the charges in August 2018.

Judge Boylan said in relation to one deception charge, Ms Theriault had given SA government officials the name of a woman from a previous employer who would act as a referee.

But when a representative from the Department of Premier and Cabinet spoke to the woman, who gave "glowing feedback" about Theriault's performance it was actually the accused who was impersonating her.

In earlier sentencing submissions, defence counsel described Theriault's offending as not particularly sophisticated and said it involved a unique set of circumstances that were unlikely to be repeated.

The court also heard that her crimes could have been detected much earlier than they actually were and that the 46 year old was "deeply ashamed and embarrassed".

But the prosecution said there was an element of planning in her offending and it was not isolated.

The court was told she had used resumes with false information to obtain employment at PwC and IBM and to win an award.

She joined PwC in Perth as director of consulting in 2012 and won a 40under40 award in 2013.

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