Inquiry hears of Vic schools invoice scam

A sacked senior Victorian Education Department official coerced a relative he met at a wedding into concocting fake invoices to send to schools, an anti-corruption hearing has been told.

Innovating Visuals director Daniel Calleja said he was aged about 21 and a budding businessman when he ran into Nino Napoli - a former financial manager at the department - at a family wedding in 2007.

Mr Calleja gave Mr Napoli a business card but most of the "work" he ended up doing for Mr Napoli was a sham, he told the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission hearing on Thursday.

Mr Napoli allegedly asked Mr Calleja to create false invoices, addressed to a variety of schools.

Schools would put money into Mr Calleja's account and then most of it was transferred out.

Mr Calleja on Thursday said he was "very scared to say anything" because he didn't want to lose legitimate multimedia work linked to the department.

IBAC is looking at claims 17 companies linked to Mr Napoli and nine of his relatives received more than $2.5 million from Victorian schools between 2007 and 2014.

The inquiry has heard some senior staff organised for bills for parties, wine and other items to be sent to "banker" schools, and these schools would pay invoices for items they did not receive.

Two school principals are under investigation and two senior officials have been sacked as a result of the investigation so far.

The latest to feel the heat is Keilor Heights Primary School principal Michael Giulieri, who is on leave.

A department spokesman on Thursday told reporters that Mr Giulieri's return to work hinged on an investigation of his conduct.

This news came about an hour after secret audio recordings appeared to show that Mr Giulieri - along with Mr Napoli - was coaching Mr Napoli's son Raffaele to tell a "little porky" to IBAC investigators.

Mr Napoli and Mr Giulieri can be heard coaching Raffaele to say he worked with Mr Giulieri, developing an elite sports program for a primary school.

"I think we'll look at it and say we met once a term, which makes sense, once a term," Mr Giulieri tells Raffaele.

The hearing continues.


Monday: Dept announces the axing of Nino Napoli

Tuesday: Chandler Park Primary School principal Peter Paul stood down after evidence links him to a wine deal

Wednesday: Regional director for the southeast Victoria region John Allman sacked after admitting to destroying school documents

Thursday: Keilor Heights Primary School principal Michael Giulieri is under investigation

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