Former TAFE IT manager pleads guilty to fraud

Former acting TAFE South Western Sydney Institute ICT services manager to be sentenced later this month

Former acting TAFE South Western Sydney Institute (SWSI) ICT manager Ronald Cordoba has pleaded guilty to charges of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception and dishonestly obtaining property.

Cordoba appeared this morning in Sydney Local Court, where he was committed for sentence on 28 July in the District Court.

The charges against Cordoba arose from a public NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption’s (ICAC) inquiry that was held in August 2015.

The allegations relate to Ronald Cordoba’s employment in 2013 and 2014 as acting ICT manager at SWSI.

ICAC in in March 2016 handed down a finding of corruption against Cordoba, following its three-day public inquiry.

ICAC said that between February and July 2014 Cordoba had misused his position at the TAFE to obtain $1.7 million from SWSI for his business, ITD Systems.

The anti-corruption body issued a finding that Cordoba had concealed his ownership of ITD Systems by using the company name and ABN of ITD Pty Ltd: A company registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) but unconnected with the IT manager.

“When asked about the name ITD Pty Ltd, Mr Cordoba told the Commission that he had used the name and ABN of a company with a similar name to his own business to conceal the fact that he was the owner and operator of ITD Systems,” ICAC’s report stated.

The report of the investigation said that Cordoba had gone as far as creating an email exchange with a fictional ITD Systems accounts officer that he could forward to SWSI’s IT coordinator.

ICAC’s report of its investigation said that the IT manager had also engaged Cloud People Pty Ltd as a contractor to provide ‘virtual labs’ for the TAFE, with the intention of securing a personal payment of $55,000.

The commission began an investigation after it received a report from SWSI in September 2014. Cordoba resigned from SWSI in September 2015.

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