By BRETT HAMBRIGHT
A 37-year-old woman admitted Thursday to bolstering her resume to land counseling jobs, resulting in more than $80,000 in overpayments.
On her resume, Jalon Faherty claimed to have received a master’s degree, which was required for a job she landed in 2007.
In reality, Faherty received the degree from an online “diploma mill” in England that she found through a Google search, according to officials.
From 2007 to 2009, she was paid salary and medical benefits as someone who held a master’s degree, defrauding two local companies — and the state — of $83,469.
On Thursday, she pleaded guilty to a pair of felonies and repaid the money, in full.
“She is accepting responsibility for her conduct,” Steven Breit, her attorney, said after the plea. “By paying restitution, she’s trying to make things right.”
Lancaster County Judge David Ashworth will order sentence after a background check is completed in about three months.
According to state guidelines, Faherty faces probation to 9 months in prison on each count.
Faherty, who lived in Mount Joy during the crimes, but has since moved to Florida, remains free on $10,000 unsecured bail.
She included the phony degree on her resume to land counseling jobs with Pennsylvania Counseling Services Inc. in Lebanon and TeamCare Behavioral Health of Lancaster.
The degree was obtained from Canterbury University in England, according to court documents. No such school exists, according to officials.
In fact, officials discovered the so-called “school” simply sells people diplomas and transcripts.
Faherty paid to have a diploma — and transcripts — from that “university” mailed to her. Very little class work or credits were required, only payment of “a couple hundred dollars,” an arrest affidavit states.
For three years, Faherty worked with children with special needs, according to officials.
She no longer works as a counselor, her attorney said.