Source: The Age – www.theage.com.au
The man who left Myer on his first day as an executive on the back of allegedly false credentials also faked his work history to gain high-ranking positions at four other organisations, a court has heard.
Andrew Jeffrey Flanagan was variously hired as a university lecturer, an executive in charge of overseeing a hospital redevelopment and a manager appointed to implement cost-cutting measures for fashion retailer Rivers, when he was not qualified to work any of the jobs, Melbourne Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday.
The court heard that between 2011 and April this year, Mr Flanagan worked as an executive manager at Bendigo Health, lectured in business at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE and held management positions at the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Rivers, where he was paid $106,000 on a three-month contract to oversee the merge of the Sydney and Melbourne offices.
Apart from leaving NMIT after serving a one-year contract, the court heard, the three other employers discovered Mr Flanagan had falsified his resume to gain the jobs.
He left two of the jobs over claims of misconduct, the court was told, and left the chamber of commerce after its board discovered “inconsistencies” in his resume.
In June Mr Flanagan was hired by Myer on a $400,000 salary as the group’s general manager for strategic and business development, but left on his first day when it was discovered he had falsified his resume, Detective Senior Constable Craig McIntosh told the court.
Mr Flanagan, 46, was on Tuesday committed by Magistrate Jennifer Bowles to stand trial on four charges of obtaining property by deception and single counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception, attempting to obtain property by deception and theft.
The dual Australian-American pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Detective Senior Constable McIntosh said Mr Flanagan began working at Myer on June 23, after the company had earlier announced his appointment on the Australian Stock Exchange.
The detective said senior Myer management approached Mr Flanagan hours into his first day and told him one of the companies he had listed on his resume – global fashion retailer Inditex – had reported it had never employed him.
Mr Flanagan told his employers he had proof that he worked at Inditex but had to go home to retrieve it, Detective Senior Constable McIntosh said.
He never returned to Myer and was not paid any money by the retailer, the court heard.
Charge sheets tendered to court allege Mr Flanagan was hired on a $180,000 salary at Bendigo Health after impressing a panel of seven at interview, gained a $140,000 salary at the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry and earned $20,000 as a casual lecturer at NMIT.
The charge sheets allege he was paid about $32,000 by the chamber of commerce and $10,000 by Bendigo Health respectively, before he left the jobs.
He is also alleged to have stolen a $1500 laptop from the chamber of commerce.
Rivers brand director Jane McNally told the court she recommended Mr Flanagan be hired in February, largely on the strength of his resume, which claimed he had worked in a management role at Zara, another international fashion house.
Ms McNally said she found Mr Flanagan “charming, courteous and presents smartly” at interview and that he had the apparent credentials to work as the company’s chief operating officer.
But soon after his appointment, the court heard, Mr McNally found the accused to be disorganised and that he “failed to follow through” on his plans. He was sacked from Rivers in April because of an inappropriate message he sent a colleague, the court heard.
Mr Flanagan left Bendigo Health after inappropriate behaviour and an altercation with a colleague during a work trip to Brisbane, the court heard.
Suzannah Moss-Wright, who succeeded Mr Flanagan as chief executive of the chamber of commerce, said the accused quit his job on the day he was asked to meet with the board after it was found he had falsified a reference and that he never had three jobs he claimed he did.
The court was told while at the chamber of commerce, Mr Flanagan also employed an associate, Gustavo Copelmayer, a man who had also acted as a referee in previous job applications.
At one point Mr Copelmayer was listed as an alias, Gustavo Ortega, when he gave a reference while claiming to be the chief executive of Inditex, which helped Mr Flanagan land the Myer job.
Senior Detective McIntosh said he wanted to speak to Mr Copelmayer, but he had flown to New Zealand days after Mr Flanagan was arrested and his whereabouts were unknown.
Mr Flanagan, a father of four, had his bail extended to appear at the County Court for a directions hearing on Wednesday.