After Giving $100K of School’s Money To Fake Elon Musk, Florida Principal Forced to Resign

The longtime principal of a Volusia County charter school resigned this week after writing a $100,000 check out of the school’s account to a scammer she believed was multi-billionaire Elon Musk. Principal Jan McGee claimed she had been speaking online with the tech mogul about an investment in the school and thought he would donate millions to the school after receiving an upfront payment. Her resignation in front of a school board meeting on Tuesday was met with applause.

McGee had been the principal of the Burns Science and Technology school in Oak Hill since it first opened in 2011. According to reporting of the incident by WESH 2 News, the elite school maintains a small class of around 1,000 students, boasts an ‘A’ rating, and has a lengthy waiting list.

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According to Forbes, McGee said that she had been speaking with the scammer for several months and believed that he was SpaceX CEO Elon Musk–the second wealthiest man in the world. She claimed that the Musk impersonator promised to invest in the school to the tune of millions of dollars, but only if she made an upfront payment of $100,000. McGee agreed.

Multiple school administrators reportedly warned McGee of the fraud, but she insisted on cutting the check anyways. When the school’s business manager caught wind of what McGee had done, he canceled the check and arranged a school board meeting.

According to WESH, the school board meeting was packed full of parents and faculty who demanded answers from McGee. School administrators testified that they had warned McGee and brought up other concerns that they say contributed to a toxic work environment. When school board members threatened to resign from their roles, McGee officially offered her resignation,

“I love this school more than anything else. If it means your administration is going to stay, I’m turning in my resignation.”

Audience members applauded and cheered at the resignation. McGee then left the building.

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This is not the first time scammers have used the likeness of Elon Musk to try and find their payday. In 2021, a British school teacher lost £9,000 after a fraudster pretending to be Musk promised to double her investment through the cryptocurrency market. The woman had reportedly been saving the money for a down payment on a house.

The previous year, a scammer on Twitter launched the same scheme in the comments section of then-President Donald Trump, promising to double users’ investments. A total of $32,000 was reportedly stolen through the scam.

Elon Musk

After Elon Musk’s Saturday Night Live appearance in 2021, internet scammers reportedly fleeced upwards of $10 million from cryptocurrency investors over a week, according to Business Insider. The fake accounts again promised to double investors’ payments. During that same period, online scammers impersonated hockey player Troy Stecher, Miley Cyrus, and Brazilian politician Luiz Fernando Pezão to defraud crypto investors.

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