A former Stevenage teacher has received a 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year after being convicted of fraud.

The Comet: Lee Falanga appeared at Stevenage Magistrates' Court earlier this month. Picture: DANNY LOOLee Falanga appeared at Stevenage Magistrates' Court earlier this month. Picture: DANNY LOO (Image: ©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved)

Lee Falanga, who worked at The Barclay School in Walkern Road, appeared at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court earlier this month and pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud against the school.

In the summer of 2017, Barclay – which has recently been taken over Future Academies Trust – reported concerns to Hertfordshire County Council’s Shared Anti-Fraud Service that a member of teaching staff had been providing false invoices to their finance office, in order to receive payments for goods that he had not purchased.

An investigation found that between 2014 and 2016 Falanga had received £3,142 through submitting false or inflated invoices to the school for reimbursement.

A further three invoices submitted by Falanga – which totalled £1,260 – in 2017 were stopped during the investigation.

In September of the same year he was dismissed from his position at the school for gross misconduct relating to the investigation and an evidence file was presented to Herts police.

After pleading guilty to six charges contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, Falanga received a 12-week imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to carry out a 20-day rehabilitation activity and to pay compensation for the money he stole from the school.

Anyone with information about fraud committed against Hertfordshire County Council can report it in confidence by e-mailing fraud.team@hertfordshire.gov.uk or by calling the fraud hotline on 0300 123 4033.

The Barclay Academy, as it is now called, did not wish to comment on the case.