Two men who have admitted being involved in corrupt activities related to vehicle examinations have been reprimanded, fined and disqualified from holding motor vehicle repairer licences by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).
Alfonso Berardis, a former Director of IPM Enterprises Pty Ltd of Spearwood, was disqualified from holding or obtaining a motor vehicle repairer’s business licence for ten years and a repairer’s certificate for four years. He was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay $500 in costs.
An investigation conducted by the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) found that from August 2011 to September 2014 the business, which was authorised by the Department of Transport (DoT) to conduct vehicle examinations, had passed vehicles which had not been examined as roadworthy. The CCC investigation found Mr Berardis had taken bribes in relation to several vehicles that were passed, entered fraudulent data into the DoT database and falsified vehicle inspection records.
Fellow former Director Tiziano Dionisio was disqualified from holding or obtaining a motor vehicle repairer’s business licence for three years and a repairer’s certificate for one year. He was also fined $1,500 and ordered to pay $500 in costs. Mr Dionisio claims that he wasn’t aware of the misconduct until September 2013, admits he failed to put a stop to it and had received a bribe on one occasion.
The DoT recalled all 840 vehicles passed by the company for re-inspection and found that only 403 vehicles passed.
In determining the penalty, the SAT took into consideration the remorse expressed by the two men, the fact that they recently resigned as Directors of the company and had no prior disciplinary history with Consumer Protection.
In December 2018, a third man Troy Pintabona was banned from holding a motor vehicle repairer’s business licence or being involved in a repair business for three years after being found to be involved in the corrupt vehicle examination operation. He was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay costs of $500.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Penny Lipscombe said all three men threatened the safety of WA road users.
“By allowing unroadworthy vehicles on WA roads, these men were putting lives at risk as well as being involved in serious misconduct for financial gain,” Ms Lipscombe said.
“The loss of their licences and certificates is a fitting penalty for the betrayal of the trust that was bestowed on them as authorised inspectors working on behalf of the Department of Transport.
“Their corrupt actions undermined the vehicle inspection system as well as the reputation of the motor vehicle repair industry in WA, so we hope their removal from the industry will restore the public’s confidence.”
Consumers can check whether a motor vehicle dealer is licensed by doing a search on the Consumer Protection website: www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au