TAFE IT manager admits to running fake cloud services from home

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TAFE IT manager admits to running fake cloud services from home

Insists he plans to pay back $1.1m in illicit gains.

Accused TAFE IT fraudster Ronald Cordoba has admitted to charging his employer thousands of dollars for a cloud storage service run off two servers in his own home.

During the second day of hearings at NSW corruption watchdog ICAC, Cordoba owned up to charging the South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE $150,000 for two years worth of Dropbox enterprise licenses, which he had bought from Dropbox for a little over $70,000.

Cordoba admitted using his position as ICT manager at the TAFE to sign off on $1.7 million worth of invoices from a company he had set up, called ITD Pty Ltd.

He told ICAC counsel he intended to pay back the roughly $1.1 million profit he made from running the front business to secure fees from TAFE that would be channeled back into his own bank account.

He said he hadn't yet discussed the issue of repayments with his employer, but said he would "have to come to an arrangement" with the institute.

ICAC has laid out evidence showing how Cordoba conducted email exchanges between himself and a fake ITD account manager called 'Alicia' for the purpose of copying in colleagues and maintaining the semblance of a legitimate third-party provider.

The ICT manager - who has been suspended from TAFE on full pay for close to a year over the matter - claimed it was not uncommon for management to sign off on procurement of goods and services before they had been delivered to the TAFE.

"It was a common practice," he said, claiming it was particular prevalent towards the end of financial year when budget funds needed to be used up even if goods and services were delayed.

But Cordoba also admitted to scrambling to buy dozens of products - which were never received by the TAFE - to cover his tracks once his scheme was uncovered in 2014, using a list sent to him by his TAFE superiors as a "shopping list".

The hearing continues. ICAC intends to apply to the Office of the Department of Public Prosecutions for a recommendation on possible criminal charges.

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