A principal who conned his way into prestigious schools before establishing his own private colleges has admitted he was a fraud for his entire 50-year career.
A principal who conned his way into prestigious schools before establishing his own private colleges has admitted he was a fraud for his entire 50-year career.

Fake principal admits to 50-year fraud

A principal who conned his way into some of Melbourne's most prestigious schools before establishing his own private colleges has admitted he was a fraud for his entire 50-year career.

Neil Lennie, 72, pleaded guilty to four counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception in court on Monday, putting an end to five decades of deceit.

Lennie, who plastered his face and fake qualifications across billboards and advertisements, was charged with fraud after it was discovered he never gained a teaching degree after flunking out of university in the 1960s.

Lennie moved between elite institutions including Haileybury College and Mt Scopus, as well as Caulfield Grammar School and Overnewton Anglican College where he rose to Deputy Principal, each time fattening his resume with fraudulent credentials.

The charges span from 1976 to 2000 and carry a maximum sentence of ten years prison each.

Neil Lennie pleaded guilty to four counts of obtain financial advantage by deception. Picture: The Australian.
Neil Lennie pleaded guilty to four counts of obtain financial advantage by deception. Picture: The Australian.

Following the fallen teacher's shock admittance on Monday, it can now be revealed this is not the first time Lennie has admitted in court for having no right to teach.

In 2015 Victoria's teaching watchdog charged Lennie with unregistered teaching for a period of just five years after he was busted working as the principal of his alternative Melbourne school, New Generation College, despite relinquishing his licence in 2009.

He pleaded guilty and was fined just $8000.

But it wasn't until July this year the depths of his deception were unveiled by Victoria Police, who learned it wasn't just for five years Lennie failed to hold a valid teaching registration - it was five decades.

Lennie had established the CBD school in 2004, labelling it the "VCE experts".

The school, which was later renamed Melbourne Senior Secondary College, was shut down in 2015 for posing "an unacceptable risk to student welfare".

Lennie had left the school a year earlier.

Dressed in a suit and tie, Lennie appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday from his Box Hill home.

Asked how he pleaded, Lennie said: "Guilty to each of the charges your honour".

He will return to court on February 25 for a pre-sentence hearing.

Lennie remains on bail.

 

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genevieve.alison@news.com.au

 

 

Originally published as Fake principal admits to 50-year fraud


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