A former South West TAFE executive manager has filed a notice asking the Office of Public Prosecutions discontinue an alleged serious corruption case against him.
Former South West TAFE executive manager Maurice Molan, training company TayTell owner and director Rebecca Taylor, her daughter Heather Snelleksz and associate Nicola Clifford appeared in Melbourne County Court on Tuesday for a directions hearing.
The group was charged by the state's anti-corruption agency in September 2020 as part of Operation Lansdowne, which examined allegations of serious corruption involving the Victorian vocational education and training, and transport sectors.
More than 55 charges were laid against the four people, including conspiracy to defraud, obtaining financial advantage by deception, using and supplying identification information, misconduct in public office and unauthorised modification of data.
They pleaded not guilty in April last year and were committed to stand trial following a committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court earlier that month.
But on Tuesday the court heard a notice of discontinuance had been filed in relation to Mr Molan and Ms Clifford.
A notice of discontinuance asks prosecutors to not pursue a case.
The court heard time was needed for the OPP to consider the applications.
The matter was adjourned until March 3 for a further directions hearing.
The OPP successfully applied to transfer the case from Warrnambool to Melbourne in 2021, arguing that Mr Molan was the only accused who resided in the south-west with the remaining three living interstate or in Melbourne.
In 2015, The Standard reported South West TAFE, which has multiple campuses at locations including Warrnambool, Hamilton and Portland, had asked police to examine a third-party contractor running an engineering course after uncovering irregularities.
The special investigation by Victoria's corruption watchdog later found an alleged multi-million dollar training scam exploited oversight weaknesses at South West Institute of TAFE.
An IBAC report released in 2017 said a training company operated an alleged scam through which it received more than $2 million of government funding under subcontracting arrangements with two TAFEs, for training that allegedly did not take place.
The investigation identified weaknesses in the systems and controls of South West TAFE and Bendigo Kangan Institute of TAFE which allowed the alleged scam to flourish. The key weakness was a failure by both TAFEs to conduct any meaningful oversight of the training which was meant to be delivered on their behalf.
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