Three men have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the Australian Government while working for an Australian public service agency.
Police will allege the men conspired to direct information technology contracts through preferred suppliers, and then received financial benefits as a result of this activity.
The matter was reported to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in July 2019 by the Department of Finance, and an investigation was undertaken by AFP Northern Command’s Fraud and Anti-Corruption Team.
Investigators executed a total of seven search warrants yesterday in the Canberra suburbs of Griffith, Barton, Narrabundah, Amaroo, Palmerston and Forrest in cooperation with the Department of Finance.
A 47-year-old Griffith man and a 50-year-old Palmerston man are due to face ACT Magistrates Court today (11 June 2020) charged with:
- Conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth, contrary to section 135.4 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) and
- Abuse of public office, contrary to section 142.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995
A 36-year-old Barton man will also face ACT Magistrates Court today (11 June 2020) charged with:
- Conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth, contrary to section 135.4 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)
The maximum penalty for defrauding the Commonwealth is 10 years imprisonment. The maximum penalty for abuse of office is five years imprisonment.
AFP Deputy Commissioner Ian McCartney said the AFP is committed to identifying and prosecuting anyone who misuses public money for their own greed.
“Fraud is not a victimless crime and when public funds are used for personal gain, people are taking valuable funds away from essential services like hospitals and schools, impacting on all of us,” he said.
“This is a complex investigation, involving the analysis of a significant volume of information. This includes substantial information referred to the AFP by the Department of Finance, and investigators will continue to conduct financial enquiries to ensure we have a complete understanding of this matter.”