Public Sector Corruption – Department of Communities – Update

Financial Crimes Squad detectives have charged three men as part of their ongoing investigation into public sector corruption at the Department of Communities.

It will be alleged a former senior staff member at the Department of Communities approved false invoices totalling $5,907,990 to be paid. It will be further alleged the company which received those funds did not complete any work in return for the funds and that the funds were paid as part of an arrangement between the former senior staff member and the 57-year-old owner of the company.
It will be further alleged a 55-year-old family member of the former senior staff member then facilitated the transfer of $2,937,000 from the company that received the funds into a bank account he controlled. It will be further alleged the kept $137,000 for himself and made a $2.8 million payment to a property settlement agency, for a residence that had been purchased in the name of the former senior staff member’s wife.
On Monday 9 November 2020 Financial Crimes Squad detectives arrested and charged the 57-year-old owner of the business to which the $5,907,990 was initially transferred. The East Fremantle man was charged with five counts of ‘Public Officer Acts Corruptly in Performance/Discharge of Functions’ and one count of ‘Property Laundering – Engaged in Transaction’. He appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court on Monday 23 November 2020 and is next due to appear in the same court on Monday 1 February 2021.
On Tuesday 10 November 2020 detectives executed a search warrant at the Cottesloe residence of the 55-year-old relative of the former Department of Communities staff member. Several items of interest were seized and the investigation continued. Yesterday, Tuesday 1 December 2020, the 55-year-old Cottesloe man was arrested and charged with one count of ‘Property Laundering – Engaged in Transaction’. He is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court today, Wednesday 2 December 2020.
The 57-year-old former Department of Communities staff member has been further charged with five counts of ‘Public Officer Acts Corruptly in Performance/Discharge of Functions’ and one count of ‘Property Laundering – Engaged in Transaction’. He is due to appear on the new charges in the Perth Magistrates Court on Friday 4 December 2020.
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