A man has been sentenced to 18 months of probation for lying about his identity and falsifying his credentials while interviewing for a job with SEPTA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) last year.
Christopher D. Hansen, 53, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty last Thursday to charges of identity theft, and falsely claiming to hold a professional CPA license
In April 2022, Hansen – using a slightly different spelling for his last name – submitted an application and resume for the open position of Senior Internal Auditor with SEPTA’s Office of Inspector General. He claimed that he earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Wharton School, and was a Certified Public Accountant employed by a major Philadelphia accounting firm at the time of his application. He also listed significant work experience in accounting and auditing, including at a “Big Four” accounting firm. Due to these purported credentials, Hansen was granted an in-person interview at SEPTA headquarters on May 23, 2022.
During the interview, members of SEPTA’s OIG became suspicious of his credentials. After he was taken into another room to complete a writing exercise, members of the interview panel began to discuss their concerns. One member believed that Hansen was the same man who had interviewed for a similar position at SEPTA several years prior and ultimately was not hired because inconsistencies of his credentials were discovered during a background check.
After the interview, the OIG launched an investigation that found Hansen lied about his current and past employment, and that he had used the name and credentials of a local man who is a CPA. The OIG also learned that the Hansen applied to a New Jersey based health care company under similar false pretenses. The resulting OIG investigation culminated in charges that were filed against Hansen earlier this year and, on March 21, 2023, OIG Detectives arrested Hansen.
“If you attempt to defraud SEPTA, we will pursue criminal charges against you, and you will be brought to justice,” said SEPTA Inspector General Denise S. Wolf. “SEPTA has checks and balances in place to ensure applicants are providing truthful information when they seek employment with the authority – and that process worked here. Fraudsters are not welcome at SEPTA.”
The case was prosecuted by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
For more information about SEPTA, please visit www.septa.org.