The principal of a high-performing Florida school has resigned after she was scammed into writing a $100,000 check directly from school funds to an internet con artist posing as a close partner of Elon Musk.
Dr Jan McGee was the principal of Burns Science and Technology Charter in Oak Hill, a well-regarded charter school in Volusia County.
She had been working at the school since its inception guiding it to an A rating with a huge waiting list and had been trying to get Musk to notice her for some time.
But she was forced to resign after being in contact with the scammer for at least four months, despite warnings from staff that the person was a fraud.
Dr McGee wrote a $100,000 (£81,000) check out of the school's account to an internet scammer posing as Elon Musk's right-hand man, someone she had been talking with for at least four months despite being warned by staff that the person was a fraud.
The check was stopped before it was cleared by the school's business manager, Brent Appy.
Dr McGee apologized to the board and the community and admitted she fell for the scam.
She even claimed that she was groomed by the scammer, as she believed in the person she was talking to and thought he was really Elon Musk's right-hand man.
She also acknowledged that she made a bad decision and put herself in a bad position.
Dr McGee told WESH 2 News: "I am a very smart lady. Well-educated. I fell for a scam. Grooming is when you talk to somebody and you believe in them, and they get you to trust them that this is really real, and so I fell for it."
The board of the school received complaints about a toxic work environment and three administrators said they would leave rather than work for Dr McGee.
“Somehow she believed it,” board chair Albert Amalfitano said. “He must have been really convincing.”
“Matching funds with this guy and he was supposed to give like $6 million to the school,” Amalfitano said.
The board conducted a national search for a new principal and hired an outside investigator to do an investigation into all that went wrong.
Amalfitano commented: "When you lose the respect of… When your leadership is now in question, you can't properly lead and that's going to cause chaos."
Dr McGee resigned along with her husband who was also a teacher at the school.