A Florida man who was believed to be a war veteran with multiple engineering degrees is now at the center of a lawsuit in which his former employer accuses him of using a false resume.
Seafarer Exploration, a treasure-hunting company, filed the suit last week and is calling for Mike Torres to pay back more than $96,000 that he received in wages, as well as nearly $7,000 in charged expenses, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“This guy can spout this stuff off like no tomorrow,” Kyle Kennedy, the CEO of Seafarer, told the newspaper. “Absolutely none of it was true, but unless you’re an engineer, you’d never know that.”
Seafarer hired Torres to its advisory board in 2018.
Torres, 37, is accused of using a false resume that contended he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Citadel, and earned a doctorate from Duke University for aeronautical engineering.
His resume also allegedly stated that he served two stints in Afghanistan, the lawsuit says.
Torres, meanwhile, defended himself, telling the Tampa Bay Times that Kennedy was the one who lied about Torres’ qualifications in an effort to make Seafarer appear more impressive.
“They want to discredit me because it somehow serves whatever scam they’re pulling,” Torres told the newspaper.
Torres says he did earn a degree from the Citadel, but the college told the newspaper that Torres did not graduate.
The lawsuit, too, claims Torres left before graduating.
Torres also told the newspaper that he never said he had a doctorate or was an Army veteran.
In January 2019, Torres spoke to multiple media outlets after allegedly finding an ancient Peruvian mask near Melbourne Beach, Fla.
Torres told the Tampa Bay Times that he plans to respond to Seafarer’s legal action by filing a countersuit.
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