RSL Thieves deep in the pig trough-Now the inquiry


  • File photo: NSW Veterans’ Affairs minister David Elliott (left) and NSW Police Superintendent Mark Walton (AAP)

Allegations of financial misconduct in the NSW RSL’s fundraising arm will be investigated by an independent inquiry.

Retired Supreme Court judge Patricia Bergin will head the inquiry, to be announced by the NSW government later on Monday.

The NSW branch has been plagued by a series of financial scandals and allegations of fraud.

In December the state government referred former NSW RSL president Don Rowe to police over claims he used his corporate credit card to withdraw $200,000 in cash.

NSW Veterans Affairs Minister David Elliott made the referral after reviewing a damning interim report into claims senior figures at the NSW branch were stockpiling millions of dollars in consultancy payments instead of spending it on veterans.

The allegations had already sparked NSW Police fraud and Australia’s charities watchdog inquiries.

On Monday Mr Elliott told Fairfax Media: “Based on the emails, letters and conversations I have with veterans around NSW, as well as their sub-branches, there is overwhelming support for the government to intervene.”

“We want to clean up the mess and make sure it never happens again,” Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean said.

Mr Elliott and Mr Kean will address media on Monday afternoon


RSL NSW chief defends Anzac attendance
RSL NSW president John Haines has defended his decision to defy a state government request to not participate in Sydney’s Anzac Day commemorations.

NSW RSL spent $93,000 defending ‘homophobic attack’
The chief executive of the NSW RSL has described a decision to spend $93,000 defending a senior executive accused of vilifying a gay veteran as disappointing.


Ex-RSL NSW boss ‘spent $475k on expenses’
Senior RSL NSW figures received more than $2.5 million in “consultancy fees” from the organisation’s aged-care arm, an auditor’s report has confirmed.


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Our site still under threat by pathetic anoms


Struggling with attack

IM A BLOGGER NOT A SOLICTOR. ANY HELP WOULD BE GREAT.

i HAVE THE ENTIRE SITE SAVED UP TO THE DAY…Sorry about caps I look down to type.

Our 3 sites are

aussicecriminals.com.au

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aussiecriminals.wordpress.com (this one is free forever unable to be stolen)

 

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale charged with extortion amid CCC investigation


Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale has been arrested and charged with extortion amid an investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

Mr Pisasale was arrested by the CCC this afternoon in Ipswich and was taken to the Brisbane police watch house where he was formally charged with extortion and two other offences.

The CCC said the investigation was ongoing.

Prior to being charged, acting Ipswich Mayor Paul Tully said he and his colleagues were shocked by Mr Pisasale’s arrest.

“As I understand it, these are strictly personal matters — have nothing to do with the Ipswich City Council,” he said.

“It is a matter for Paul and his legal advisors and the Queensland judicial system.

“We had no warning that this could happen, but the city must go on and we’re going to provide positive leadership into the future,” Cr Tully said.

“Our sympathies do go out to Paul’s family who are obviously very concerned at this difficult time.

“I think people will still remember Paul whatever happens as the person who put Ipswich on the map, did a lot of economic development for the city.

Breaking the Brotherhood-Digging up the bad old days of systemic police corruption and graft supported by the Government of the time


Background Information

FEATURE Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force by Mark Willacy | ABC News | 12 Jun 2017 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-12/four-corners-moonlight-state-afp-protected-chris-masters/8607314

FEATURE The Bagman, the secret codes, and the payments to a secret brotherhood of bent cops by Mark Willacy | ABC News | 12 Jun 2017 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-12/fitzgerald-inquiry-files-reveal-inner-workings-of-corrupt-cops/8600046

Fact Check: Did Joh Bjelke-Petersen instigate the Fitzgerald inquiry? | ABC Fact Check | 20 Nov 2014 – http://www.abc.net.au/news/factcheck/2014-11-20/did-joh-bjelke-petersen-instigate-the-fitzgerald-inquiry/5889002

Journalism Matters: Fitzgerald inquiry resulted from basic reporting | The Courier-Mail | 7 Oct 2014 – http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/journalism-matters-fitzgerald-inquiry-resulted-from-basic-reporting/news-story/f34f2b0a95d86007fe12a9bd1a5c6c8a

Moonlight Reflections by Chris Masters | Griffith Review | Aug 2008 – Chris Masters reflected on the making and remifications of the Moonlight State investigation. https://griffithreview.com/articles/moonlight-reflections/

Queensland: Ten Years After Fitzgerald | Background Briefing | 16 May 1999 – http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/queensland-ten-years-after-fitzgerald/3565808

The Fitzgerald Inquiry | Crime & Corruption QLD | 1989 – The Fitzgerald report was tabled in Parliament in July 1989. It made over 100 recommendations covering the establishment of the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission and the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and reform of the Queensland Police Force. Download the report here: http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/about-the-ccc/the-fitzgerald-inquiry

Police inquiry turns blowtorch back on accusers by Paul Bongiorno | The Bulletin Archives | 26 May 1987 – https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1363645-the-bulletin-police-inquiry-turns-blowtorch-back.html

Sir Joh says PM has dingoed out on electorate | SMH Archives | 28 May 1987 – https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1363976-smh-sir-joh-says-pm-has-dingoed-out-on.html

RELATED 4 CORNERS PROGRAMS

Beyond Bethany | 3 Mar 2008 – Twenty years on Chris Masters assesses the Joh Bjelke-Petersen legacy. Watch Online

The Moonlight State | 11 May 1987 – Chris Masters’ investigation into Queensland police corruption led to the Fitzgerald Inquiry, resulting in over 100 convictions and the police commissioner being jailed. Watch Online


“The Joke” was a system of protection involving illegal gambling, bookies, and brothels in QLD for more than a decade, probably decades


Updated June 12, 2017 14:19:00

It was Queensland, the year was 1987, and the State’s police force was riddled with corruption. The brotherhood of crooked cops who gave the green light to illegal gambling and prostitution believed they were untouchable.

“The level and systemic nature of it, reaching to all levels, including the highest political levels, was truly a shock to me.” Leading Criminal Investigator

There was a conspiracy of silence, from within the Queensland Government and all the way up to the highest levels of the force. The nature and the extent of the corruption sickened the honest cops, who operated in a world where they could trust no-one

Breaking the Brotherhood – Monday 12 June 2017

“‘Break his camera and break his mouth too!’ was the order.” Chris Masters, ‘The Moonlight State’ (1987)

It was Queensland, the year was 1987, and the State’s police force was riddled with corruption. The brotherhood of crooked cops who gave the green light to illegal gambling and prostitution believed they were untouchable.

“The level and systemic nature of it, reaching to all levels, including the highest political levels, was truly a shock to me.” Leading Criminal Investigator

There was a conspiracy of silence, from within the Queensland Government and all the way up to the highest levels of the force. The nature and the extent of the corruption sickened the honest cops, who operated in a world where they could trust no-one.

“There were times that I actually feared for my life and for the life of my family. It was clear to me that we had institutionalised corruption taking place.” Undercover Operative

A small band of brave crime fighters, and their families, took the enormous risk to trust a journalist with the State’s darkest secrets. The result was ‘The Moonlight State’, perhaps the most explosive true story ever told on Australian television.

“There is another side to the Sunshine State. Despite some wholesome attempts to pretend otherwise, the Queensland Government has not managed to stop the devil at the border. In the Sunshine State, sex is a great little earner.” Chris Masters, ‘The Moonlight State’ (1987)

Chris Masters’ landmark report prompted one of the most important anti-corruption investigations in Australian history, the Fitzgerald Inquiry, which led to the jailing of the Queensland Police Commissioner.

But the whole story of how the whistle was blown has never fully been told. Now the key players who put their trust in Chris Masters have come forward to tell their story, on camera, for the first time.

“I’m sitting there with my wife at home, because I knew when it was going to air, and I’m watching it. And I had this silly grin on my face, but it was also teary because we actually made it, we survived. The story got to air.” Whistleblower

“I believe that fate brought (us) together and that something had to be done.” Undercover Operative

The program also reveals the shocking lengths corrupt police went to, to try to silence the whistleblowers, and reporter Chris Masters.

“My son had been walking home from school and a car had pulled up beside him and told him that his father was going to be killed.” Undercover Police Officer

“Things got very scary, and a very powerful syndicate of organised criminals and corrupt police realised that they had an illicit empire to protect and they started to play nasty.” Chris Masters

Thirty years on from ‘The Moonlight State’, leading law enforcement figures warn that every police force today must remember the lessons of those dark days so they can never be repeated.

Breaking the Brotherhood, reported by Mark Willacy and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 12th June at 8.30pm EDT. It is replayed on Tuesday 13th June at 10.00am and Wednesday 14th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.

First posted June 12, 2017 13:43:00


Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


Moonlight State: The honest cop who helped blow the whistle on Australia’s most corrupt police force

June 12th, 2017 Updated about 2 hours ago

It was an unusual assignment, and Australian Federal Police officer Dave Moore wasn’t happy about it.

“I had a call to go and visit the assistant commissioner,” he recounted.

“He asked me to keep a lookout for a bloke by the name of Chris Masters from Four Corners.”

To Mr Moore, babysitting a journalist was not part of his remit.

“I’ll be honest, I told [my assistant commissioner] I didn’t want to do the job,” he said.

But an order was an order.

It was 1987, and the AFP hierarchy had information that Masters was in danger.

He wasn’t at risk from the criminal underworld, but from the corrupt members of the Queensland police.

“It was made very clear that they were concerned for Chris’s safety,” said Mr Moore, speaking for the first time about the AFP’s secret role in protecting the Four Corners reporter.

“So we put the resources of the AFP, discreetly, behind keeping a lookout for Chris.”

‘We were being watched and shadowed’

Masters was getting too close to a brotherhood of bent cops and their network of graft and corruption, an arrangement known as “the Joke”.

What was the Joke?

The Joke was a vast system of graft and protection involving illegal gambling, starting price bookmakers, brothels and massage parlours that stretched back decades in Queensland.The dirty money flowed to the police, particularly to several senior members of the infamous Licensing Branch, who in exchange for regular cash payments turned a blind eye to vice.

In its later and most lucrative form, the Joke was administered by Jack Herbert, who, by the time it all came crashing down, was passing on nearly $60,000 a month in protection money to police.

Herbert was estimated to have received more than $3 million in payments.

In early 1987 The Courier-Mail ran a series of articles about unchallenged vice in Brisbane.

Then in May, The Moonlight State program was broadcast on Four Corners, revealing that police were being bribed to protect vice in Queensland.

The next day the acting premier Bill Gunn called a judicial inquiry.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry would run for two years and hear from more than 300 witnesses.

Evidence from the inquiry would lead to four government ministers and police commissioner Terry Lewis being jailed.

Other police would go to prison, while senior officers — including the assistant commissioner Graeme Parker — would give evidence in exchange for indemnity from prosecution.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry would also lead to the establishment of Queensland’s first anti-corruption body.

Stretching back several decades, the Joke was a system of protection payments that flowed from brothel owners, SP bookies and illegal gaming operators into the hands of corrupt police.

It was worth millions, and the Joke’s tentacles reached right to the top of the Queensland force.

In late 1986, early 1987, Masters had been sniffing around Brisbane’s red light district of Fortitude Valley for weeks talking to pimps, prostitutes and disgruntled police.

His inquiries were making the brotherhood nervous.

“We were being watched and shadowed,” Masters recalled.

“I didn’t really know that until Dave started to point out people who were surveilling me.”

Mr Moore says he first met Masters “up at the Tower Mill [Hotel]”.

“It became quite apparent to me that there was someone paying quite a lot of attention to Chris across the road,” he said.

“We later found out it was a hired vehicle which was being used by officers of the [Queensland] Police Force.”

The plan to frame Chris Masters

As Masters got closer to cracking the Joke, the police brotherhood knew it had to destroy the Four Corners reporter before he destroyed them.

“They took him extremely seriously, to the point where they were on the brink of literally setting him up,” said Matthew Condon, the author of a three-book series on police corruption in Queensland.

“The plan was that they would plant an underage boy in Masters’ hotel room in the city and ultimately, whether they could prove it or not, the mud would have been thrown against Masters to discredit him.”

Masters would only be told of the plan to stitch him up many months later, after The Moonlight State had gone to air.

“I learnt of it through [former rugby league player] Tommy Raudonikis. He’d heard of it from a police mate and he then tipped off my brother Roy who told me,” Masters said.

“But when it was all supposed to happen I wasn’t in Brisbane, I was back in Sydney.”

The plan revealed the lengths the corrupt Queensland police brotherhood was prepared to go to protect the Joke.

It had flourished for years under the stewardship of a man known as “the Bagman”.

Jack Herbert was a former police Licensing Branch detective who for years was the conduit between the crooks and the cops.

He doled out hundreds of thousands in bribes to corrupt police.

Masters travelled the state speaking to and interviewing people about the Joke.

On May 11, 1987, The Moonlight State went to air on Four Corners.

“The pivotal thing about The Moonlight State and why it caused an earthquake was that for the first time, what Masters achieved, was a link between criminal figures, the underworld and corruption and police,” Condon said.

“That’s what caused so much drama and why it was an astonishing piece of television journalism.”

For Masters, the day after The Moonlight State would bring fresh drama.

“I wake up to the sounds of my own heartbeat,” he said.

“These are scary moments, sometimes the worst moments because you’ve done your best, you’re pretty much exhausted, but then a whole new battle begins.”

That battle would become the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

It would run for two years, hear from 339 witnesses and see the police commissioner, Sir Terence Lewis, jailed and stripped of his knighthood.

Also convicted were senior police and Valley kingpin, Gerry Bellino, who was sentenced to seven years in prison for paying bribes.

As for Jack “the Bagman” Herbert, he escaped jail by rolling over and telling all to the inquiry.

Watch Four Corners’ Breaking the Brotherhood at 8:30pm on ABC and iView.

The Moonlight State, the 1987 report that prompted the Fitzgerald Inquiry, can be viewed in full on the Four Corners website.

Topics: law-crime-and-justice, police, qld, australia

First posted about 4 hours ago

Contact Mark Willacy


en.wikipedia.org

Fitzgerald Inquiry – Wikipedia


The Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct (the Fitzgerald Inquiry) (1987–1989) into Queensland Police corruption was a judicial inquiry presided over by Tony Fitzgerald QC. The inquiry resulted in the deposition of a premier, two by-elections, the jailing of three former ministers and a police commissioner who was jailed and lost his knighthood. It also led indirectly to the end of the National Party of Australia‘s 32-year run as the governing political party in Queensland.

History

The inquiry was established in response to a series of articles on high-level police corruption in The Courier-Mail by reporter Phil Dickie, followed by a Four Corners television report, aired on 11 May 1987, entitled “The Moonlight State” with reporter Chris Masters. Both reports highlighted prostitution, gambling and possible police corruption.[1] With Queensland‘s Premier of 18 years, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, out of the state, his deputy Bill Gunn ordered a commission of inquiry the day after the television report was broadcast.

The allegations aired in the media were not new; they had surfaced from time to time and some news organisations had been forced to pay damages to aggrieved people who alleged their reputations had been damaged (Bjelke-Petersen himself was notoriously litigious in response to unfavourable press coverage). Ian Callinan drafted the terms of reference for the inquiry as well as appearing before it.[2] While the terms of the inquiry were initially narrow, restricted only to the specific allegations raised against specific persons named in the media over a period of just five years, Fitzgerald used his moral authority to lever the inquiry into a position of being able to inquire into any relevant matter. The terms of reference for the Commission were extended twice.[1]

This enabled him to set a new precedent for commissions of inquiry and Royal Commissions in Australia generally, using innovative methods such as indemnities from prosecution for key witnesses to secure vital evidence. The inquiry was initially expected to last about six weeks; it instead spent almost two years conducting a comprehensive investigation of long-term, systemic political corruption and abuse of power in Queensland. Public sittings were held on 238 days, hearing testimony from 339 witnesses.[1]

On 28 August, a Licensing Branch sergeant, Harry Burgess implicated Jack Herbert, and assistant commissioner Graeme Parker. Parker confessed and implicated police commissioner Sir Terry Lewis on 16 September.[3]

The inquiry would eventually outlive the Bjelke-Petersen government. Mike Ahern became the new Premier after Bjelke-Petersen was deposed by his own party.[4] Evidence revealed by the investigation (including testimony from Bjelke-Petersen himself) caused significant political damage and an internal power struggle within the National Party, resulting in Bjelke-Petersen resigning as Premier after his unsuccessful attempt to have the Governor of Queensland sack all of his ministers after they deposed him as party leader.

The inquiry’s special prosecutor was Doug Drummond QC. It was Drummond who decided not to retry Bjelke-Petersen after the hung jury.

Findings

Fitzgerald’s report was submitted on 3 July 1989.[1] Based on the inquiry’s final report,[5] a number of high-profile politicians were charged with crimes; notably Queensland Police Commissioner (Sir) Terry Lewis was charged with corruption.

Bjelke-Petersen himself was charged with perjury in respect of evidence given to the inquiry. The jury in the case remained deadlocked, bringing about a mistrial.[6] In 1992 it was revealed that the jury foreman, Luke Shaw, was a member of the Young Nationals, was identified with the “Friends of Joh” movement and had misrepresented the state of deliberations to the judge. According to an ABC TV analysis, “A later inquiry conducted by Justice Bill Carter found the selection process had been manipulated by …ex-police officers …helping to put Joh before a jury led by Young Nationals member, Luke Shaw.”[7] A special prosecutor announced in 1992 there would be no retrial because Sir Joh, then aged 81, was too old.

Jack Herbert had been the bagman, collecting bribes for police commissioner Terry Lewis from 1980. Lewis himself had been a bagman for former commissioner Francis Bischof.[3] Lewis was convicted (and subsequently stripped of his knighthood).

Leisha Harvey former health minister, was charged with misappropriating of public funds as part of an investigation resulting from the findings of the inquiry. She spent one year in jail.[4] Don Lane, former transport minister, was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment for falsifying expense accounts.[4] Lane’s resignation resulted in the 1989 Merthyr state by-election. Brian Austin, another former health minister, was convicted of misappropriating public funds. Hinze’s resignation led to the 1988 South Coast state by-election.

The Queensland Police Special Bureau was formed on 30 July 1940 and renamed Special Branch on 7 April 1948. It was criticised for being used for political purposes by the Bjelke-Petersen government in the 1970s and 1980s, such as enforcing laws against protests (sometimes outnumbering the protesters or using provocateurs to incite violence so the protesters could be arrested[8]) and investigating and harassing political opponents.[9] It was disbanded in 1989 following a recommendation by the Fitzgerald Inquiry.[9] Special Branch destroyed its records before Fitzgerald could subpoena them.[9]

In large part due to public anger over the revelations in the Fitzgerald report, the National Party was heavily defeated in the December 1989 state election, which brought the Australian Labor Party to power for the first time since 1957.

Recommendations

The two most significant recommendations were the establishment of the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) and the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission which was to review electoral boundaries.[1] The need for Freedom of Information legislation in the state was noted, as was the need to review laws relating to public assembly and guidelines for the disclosure of pecuniary interests of parliamentarians. The CJC was to be responsible for investigating specific individuals mentioned during the inquiry.

The police culture of the state was also criticised. Aspects such as loyalty to fellow police officers, police not enforcing laws against other police and criticism of other police being impermissible[clarification needed] were condemned because they led to misconduct, inefficiency and contempt for the justice system.[1] Many of the inquiry’s recommendations were implemented by Wayne Goss, the first Labor Party Premier of Queensland in 32 years.

Cultural depictions

Bjelke-Petersen’s trial was later the subject of a TV movie, “Joh’s Jury“.[10]

Margot Hutcheson painted a picture of the inquiry, Wasn’t the Fitzgerald Inquiry Fun?[11]

In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, the Fitzgerald Inquiry was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for its role as a “Defining Moment”.[12]

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct, “Fitzgerald Inquiry report”, Government Printer, Brisbane, 1989.

Further reading

FOR more than three decades, Queensland Police simply called it “The Joke”.

And for the crooked cops who were in on it, along with a cavalcade of pimps, gamblers, prostitutes, drug dealers and politicians, being part of the punchline was lucrative business.

When The Courier-Mail finally exposed the system of corrupt payments with the landmark reporting of journalist Phil Dickie in 1987, it was clear the operation had penetrated the highest echelons and darkest recesses of life in the Sunshine State.

Police Commissioner Terry Lewis and other corrupt officers were caught taking bribes from a pool fed by bookies and brothel owners, such as Geraldo Bellino.

Vic Conte

The main beneficiaries were the police. Courier-Mail journalist Matt Condon, who has written a best-selling ­trilogy about that era, wrote The Joke was an “elaborate, multi-million dollar scheme of kickbacks from illegal gambling, SP bookmakers, brothels and escort services”.

At its zenith in the mid- 1980s, the system’s meticulous bookkeeper Jack “the Bagman” Herbert was raking in so much cash he was running out of places to store it in his luxury, riverfront apartment at East Brisbane.

By 1987, he was chan­nelling about $56,000 a month to police to protect SP bookmakers, casino and brothel operators from any serious law enforcement.

By then, the system was brazenly operating in the open, secure in its institutional hold on the police force and protection from the National Party government of then premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

Bagman Jack Herbert

Detective Sergeant Tony Murphy

Dickie’s investigative skills eventually shattered The Joke’s sense of impunity as he exposed the chain of money flowing to the police’s notorious Licensing Branch.

Reports in The Courier-Mail and an expose by ABC journalist Chris Masters on Four Corners led to the Fitzgerald inquiry, which finally finished The Joke in 1989 as three government ministers and police commissioner Terry Lewis were jailed.

Want to see more?( 6 more photos in collection )Continue to full gallery

In the final instalment of his trilogy, All Fall Down, Condon details a 1984 document written by serving police that provided forensic insight into The Joke’s structure, operation, breadth and membership.

It traced the system back to the 1950s, when the force was riven by factional fighting between Irish Catholics and the Masons.

The Joke then flourished under Frank Bischoff, who was commissioner from 1958 to 1969. Bischoff initiated Lewis, who was a young detective at the time, into the system and groomed him as a future successor.

Police Commissioner Frank Bischoff.

Notorious poker machine king, businessman and yachtsman Jack Rooklyn.

Lewis readily accepted his new duties, becoming one of the notorious Rat Pack, which included Herbert and detectives Tony Murphy and Glen Hallahan.

Murphy, who later rose to be assistant commissioner, allegedly coined the term The Joke and ensured that the Rat Pack controlled its operations. He was known as The Godfather.

The rest of The Joke operated as a series of autonomous cells led by an officer known as a “control”. Controls answered to another control on the level above them but would not deal with any other person, insulating the Rat Pack from being ­exposed. Citing the document, which was sent to then opposition police spokesman Kevin Hooper, Condon said the Rat Pack used police resources to corrupt politicians, government departments and leaders of industry.

“Illegal tapping of phones and use of sophisticated electronic surveillance gear, control of illegal gambling, prostitution at all levels and the keeping of comprehensive files on citizens of prominence are all ways in which this group of men are able to get appointed to high rank in the department,” the document said.

“There is not a level of ­society that these men do not have contacts and informants who work for them either through fear of exposure or for monetary gain.”

Hector Hapeta

Graeme Parker

 

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CORBY ARRIVES HOME…LET THE CHAOS BEGIN


Like sands through the hour glass so are days of Schapelle Corby inc…. She will arrive back in Australia with as much controversy as she had the day she arrived in Bali longer than a decade ago. I still stand by the scenario her family was deep into the dope trade and a key link in Bali either let them down by not letting the weed through or that person was removed and stuffed up their nice little earner. The OLD mad in my view died gutless and said nothing…A true dog…Robbo

abc.net.au

Schapelle Corby arrives in Australia more than 12 years after drug trafficking conviction

By Patrick Williams and staff

Updated about an hour agoSun 28 May 2017, 6:02pm

Schapelle Corby has arrived home in Australia, touching down at Brisbane International Airport just after 5:00am, more than 12 years after she was convicted of taking marijuana into Bali.

Key points:

  • Schapelle Corby arrived at Brisbane International Airport about 5:00am
  • Mercedes Corby seen arriving at mother Rosleigh Rose’s house at Loganlea, south of Brisbane
  • Family spokeswoman asks for privacy as Corby readjusts to life back in Australia

Media and some of Corby’s supporters gathered at the airport from as early as 4:00am in anticipation of her return but she did not leave the terminal through the usual exit.

Instead, Corby and her sister Mercedes were taken off the plane first and whisked away in a black van with tinted windows, part of a larger convoy of eight vehicles.

Corby’s whereabouts are currently unknown as the convoy split up further down the Gateway Motorway.

Some of the vehicles went into Brisbane’s CBD while others continued on to the Gold Coast.

Corby’s security has since been spotted at the Sofitel in Brisbane where it is believed she is located.

Mercedes Corby arrived at her mother Rosleigh Rose’s house at Loganlea, south of Brisbane.

At Ms Rose’s house, one man was seen wearing a horror mask as he let people out of the property.

Spokeswoman for the family, Eleanor Whitman, said Corby’s “priority and focus” would now be on healing and moving forward.

“To all those in Australia and all those in Bali who have been there throughout this difficult journey, your support has not gone unnoticed,” she said.

“In the spirit of humility and the spirit of dignity, we ask all parties to show respect for the family’s privacy during this time.”

Corby and her sister arrived in Brisbane aboard Malindo Air flight OD157, not Virgin Australia as originally expected.

The flights arrived at roughly the same time, but the last-minute switch in Denpasar meant she did not share the plane with dozens of journalists who had booked on board.

In Brisbane, once it became clear Corby had left the airport unnoticed, one unidentified woman cheered.

“That’s the second time in 24 hours she’s fooled you,” she said referring to the media.

Corby was arrested in 2004 carrying more than 4 kilograms of marijuana in her boogie board bag and returns to Australia as a convicted drug trafficker who has served her jail time.

One of Corby’s key defences put forward by her legal team and supporters was that corrupt baggage handlers had placed the marijuana in her bag.

‘She was hiding her face, looked very nervous’

Brisbane man Tala Pauga, who was a passenger aboard OD157, said he recognised the Corby sisters as soon as he stepped on the plane.

“It’s like what you see on the media, that’s her face there,” he said.

Mr Pauga said the two were the first to be whisked off the plane once it landed in Brisbane.

Another passenger, Rowena Arias, said she was surprised to see Corby on her flight – who wore a scarf and had her head down in business class.

“She was hiding her face, looked very nervous,” she said.

Ms Arias said fellow travellers were told not to take photos of Corby.

Corby becomes overnight Instagram success

More than 200 police officers and private security guards made sure Corby was deported from Indonesia last night without a hitch.

There had been chaotic scenes as she negotiated her way to the Bali airport via the parole office where she signed forms guaranteeing her freedom.

She carried a bag with a picture of missing New South Wales boy William Tyrrell on the front, but the Where’s William campaign has distanced itself from Corby.

“While the Where’s William campaign appreciates that Schapelle Corby has shown concern regarding little William’s disappearance and in using her release as a convicted offender from Bali as a media opportunity to increase awareness that William is still missing, we are not happy,” a statement on the campaign’s Facebook page read.

“William’s family and their campaign to support the NSW Police in their investigation in the search for William have absolutely no association with Schapelle Corby, her supporters or her family and had no prior knowledge of Miss Corby’s intention to use William’s image in this way.”

Now Corby is back on Australian soil, she can speak freely but not for profit, with proceed of crime laws meaning she cannot sell her story.

The 39-year-old set up an Instagram account recently and began posting photos during her last hours in Bali.

She had tens of thousands of followers within hours, with the comments posted overwhelmingly supportive.

Topics: international-law, laws, law-crime-and-justice, drug-offences, crime, brisbane-4000, bali, australia

First posted earlier today at 5:16amSun 28 May 2017, 5:16am

Contact Patrick Williams

More stories from Queensland

corby with tyrell sticker.jpeg

https://www.instagram.com/schapelle.corby/

Thank god she was able to leave Bali quietly…NOT 27/05/2017

Schapelle Corby’s release from Bali and return to Australia

Large police entourage escort Corby to parole office

Cindy Wockner, Charles Miranda and Shaya Laughlin in BaliNews Corp Australia Network

CONVICTED drug smuggler Schapelle Corby has been told she is free to go after signing in at the Parole Board one last time, in a high-level police operation.

The final paper work for her release has been signed at the Parole Office in Denpasar. She is now a free woman.

Corby has begun her long-awaited journey to freedom, leaving her Kuta home amidst dramatic and chaotic scenes, where she was bundled into a car.

Dozens of police and media and surrounded Corby as she was taken out the gate of her home in Kuta and shoved into a waiting black car with her sister Mercedes.

She had a scarf around her head, wore dark sunglasses and carried a handbag with a picture of missing Australian boy William Tyrrell.

MORE: Schapelle Corby Instagrams her journey to freedom

Schapelle Corby leaves the Prosecutors office in Denpasar a free woman. Picture: Nathan Edwards

Schapelle Corby leaves the Prosecutors office in Denpasar a free woman. Picture: Nathan Edwards Source:News Corp Australia

Schapelle Corby leaves the Prosecutors office with police and Mercedes behind her. Picture: Nathan Edwards

Schapelle Corby leaves the Prosecutors office with police and Mercedes behind her. Picture: Nathan Edwards Source: News Corp Australia

Schapelle Corby leaves the Prosecutors office in Denpasar. Picture: Nathan Edwards

Schapelle Corby leaves the Prosecutors office in Denpasar. Picture: Nathan EdwardsSource: News Corp Australia

Schapelle Corby leaves while still covering her face with sunnies and a scarf. Picture: Nathan Edwards

Schapelle Corby leaves while still covering her face with sunnies and a scarf. Picture: Nathan Edwards Source:News Corp Australia

Tyrell disappeared at the age of three from Kendall, on the New South Wales mid-north coast in 2014.

Bemused locals and dozens of Australian tourists barely caught a glimpse of Corby amid the crush of cameras as her car snaked its way out her laneway, surrounded by police running on foot.

As part of the convoy there were two trucks, five police cars plus the vehicle transporting Corby. It was the first time Corby had been seen in public in 10 days.

The journey from her home to the parole board took about 40 mins aided by police stopping trafffic at major intersection.

Schapelle Corby getting into the van to got the the parole office. Picture: Channel Nine

Schapelle Corby getting into the van to got the the parole office. Picture: Channel NineSource: Supplied

Police securing Schapelle Corby (holding handbag) leaving the house in Kuta lane to go to Parole Board with a picture of William Tyrell on the bag. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Police securing Schapelle Corby (holding handbag) leaving the house in Kuta lane to go to Parole Board with a picture of William Tyrell on the bag. Picture: Lukman S. BintoroSource: News Corp Australia

Shortly before 6pm Bali time, parole officials emerged from the office to hold up the freedom letter, telling her that her 15-year drug trafficking sentence was at an end.

It was the moment Corby has dreamed of for the past 12 years and eight months – the day, shortly before her 40th birthday, that she would no longer be a prisoner.

Schapelle Corby's freedom document. Picture: Supplied

Schapelle Corby’s freedom document. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

Corby entered the parole office, again shrouded by a scarf and spent about 40 minutes inside with officials, signing her paperwork and the all important freedom letter.

Earlier police had locked arms around the car to push back media as she left her home.

Corby’s brother Michael, wearing an old man mask, sat on the fence, taking photos of the scene.

Corby’s conviction and release from jail was chaotic and so was her release yesterday.

Before she left the home, Schapelle’s sister Mercedes told News Corporation; “Schapelle is holding up well”.

Police secure the car that take Schapelle Corby from the house to the Parole office in Denpasar, Bali. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Police secure the car that take Schapelle Corby from the house to the Parole Office in Denpasar, Bali. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro Source: News Corp Australia

Michael Corby wearing a mask photographs media just before Schapelle Corby leaves her home in Kuta. Picture Supplied

Michael Corby wearing a mask photographs media just before Schapelle Corby leaves her home in Kuta. Picture Supplied Source: Supplied

And, finding her voice for the first time, Corby broke her three-year public silence and created a brand new Instagram account. Her first post was a photograph of her two beloved dogs, Luna and May, with the comment: “Going to miss these two. My puppies #Luna&May”.

Within minutes of News Corporation revealing the Instagram account, Corby had thousands of followers.

Police secure the car that take Schapelle Corby from the house to the Parole office in Denpasar, Bali. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Police secure the car that take Schapelle Corby from the house to the Parole office in Denpasar, Bali. Picture: Lukman S. BintoroSource: News Corp Australia

Schapelle Corby leaves her home in Bali before being deported. Picture: Channel Seven

Schapelle Corby leaves her home in Bali before being deported. Picture: Channel Seven Source: Supplied

And whilst Bali’s Governor Made Mangku Pastika and local parliament members instructed officials not to give Corby any special treatment, yesterday’s scenes showed it was the opposite.

More than 100 police were involved, four police cars lead and shadowed her convoy from home to the parole office to the airport, dramatic rehearsals were held earlier in the day.

“Today Corby is free,” Surung Pasaribu, the Corrections chief at Bali’s Law and Human Rights Ministry announced with some enthusiasm shortly before the show started.

“Since midnight she was free, I think there is no problem.”

Corby en route to parole office

On the issue of Corby’s new Instagram, Mr Pasaribu said it was no problem.

“I don’t think it is a problem, but I don’t follow Instagram and I don’t really understand this Instagram even on my proper mobile phone I don’t have it,” he said.

He said the overwhelming response by authorities for Corby was at the behest of the Australian Government in Bali.

Governor Pastika also said that her safety must be protected at all times during her departure from Bali tonight.

Police arrive at the home of Schapelle Corby before her deportation. Picture: Channel Seven

Police arrive at the home of Schapelle Corby before her deportation. Picture: Channel Seven Source: Supplied

It comes as more than 50 police, with tactical vans, sirens blaring and whistles blowing, conducted a dramatic rehearsal at Bali’s parole board yesterday.

Police also arrived at the laneway near her Kuta home to conduct a check. The actions in tthe lead up to her release gave a very strong impression that this was a special case.

News Corp Australia has obtained a copy of the notes from a special high level meeting held yesterday to discuss plans for Corby’s release.

Police arrive at the home of Schapelle Corby before her deportation. Picture: Channel Seven

Police arrive at the home of Schapelle Corby before her deportation. Picture: Channel SevenS ource: Supplied

The head of Bali’s Law and Human Rights Ministry, Ida Bagus Ketut Adnyana, this week briefed the Governor and members of the legislative assembly. He told yesterday’s meeting that the the Governor and parliament members had urged there be no impression that Corby is getting any special treatment.

“Although the direction from Bali Governor is that the deportation should run normally, but safety must be maintained as she was an ex drug convict that has become a highlight in her country, and it is not impossible she become a target of drug syndicate,” Governor Pastika said.

And the plans are that when Corby leaves the parole offices, the convoy of cars taking her to the airport does not drive fast, for reasons of safety and also in order to reduce the time she will need to wait at the airport for her flight home. An ambulance will shadow the convoy.

Surung Pasaribu, head of corrections, talks to media at the Bali Parole Office in Denpasar. Picture: Nathan Edwards

Surung Pasaribu, head of corrections, talks to media at the Bali Parole Office in Denpasar. Picture: Nathan Edwards Source:News Corp Australia

SCHAPELLE JOINS INSTAGRAM

Schapelle Corby has today created her own public Instagram account — which has more than 40,000 followers.

She wrote her fourth post — a selfie with her sister, as she approached the airport, writing: “Almost at the airport with my @mercedescorby.”

Selfie of Schapelle Corby and her sister Mercedes in the car on the way to the airport before being deported. Picture: Instagram

Selfie of Schapelle Corby and her sister Mercedes in the car on the way to the airport before being deported. Picture: InstagramSource:Instagram

She wrote her third post as she approached the parole office, writing: “Good bye to this parole paper work. Approching parole office for the last time.”

Schapelle Corby’s third post from her new account. Picture: Instagram

Schapelle Corby’s third post from her new account. Picture: InstagramSource:Instagram

Her second post shows her “Bali family” who she has thanked.

Second Instagram post from Schapelle Corby's instagram account. Picture: Instagram

Second Instagram post from Schapelle Corby’s instagram account. Picture: Instagram Source:Instagram

Her first post, as she remained holed up in her Kuta home counting down the final hours to freedom, was a photo of her two beloved dogs, Luna and May.

Schapelle wrote: “Going to miss these two. My puppies #Luna&May”.

Instagram page set up by Schapelle Corby today before her release. Picture: Instagram/Schapelle Corby

Instagram page set up by Schapelle Corby today before her release. Picture: Instagram/Schapelle CorbySource:Instagram

Among those making comments on the account was her sister Mercedes, who is with her inside the home now and will accompany her on her final journey home.

‘WE HOPE SHE DOESN’T REPEAT THIS’

Surung Pasaribu, chief of the correctional department of the Law and Human Rights Ministry, said the overwhelming response by authorities for Corby was at the behest of the Australian Government in Bali.

“The consulate general said to us, ‘Please save my citizen’, so security is Indonesia’s responsibility to secure her to the airport so we will protect her for this while she in this country,” he said, adding “it was not special, just duty”.

“We just hope she doesn’t repeat this (drug smuggling) again and God also wants human beings doing mistakes to come back to the right path.”

He said he thought Corby was different to other prisoners staying at the ‘Bali international prison’.

He said once Corby signs her release she will be handed over to immigration officers who will escort her out of the country.

“I hope that we as Indonesians can always uphold human rights for anyone coming to Indonesia,” he said.

Normally the Parole Office has just two staff working on a Saturday but for Corby, chiefs called in 30 personnel from their usual day off.

Cindy Wockner on Schapelle Corby and her imminent return to Australia

CORBY’S HEAVY POLICE ESCORT

Around midday today, about 20 police were given a final briefing of procedures for the Corby exit in the parole office courtyard before dramatically, with sirens, horns and whistles blaring, they performed a full dress rehearsal with an armoured convoy of vans and trucks carrying another 30 police troops.

Police officers simulate the transport of Schapelle Corby from the Bali Parole office in Denpasar to the airport by Indonesian Immigration for deportation to Australia. Picture: Nathan Edwards

Police officers simulate the transport of Schapelle Corby from the Bali Parole office in Denpasar to the airport by Indonesian Immigration for deportation to Australia. Picture: Nathan Edwards Source: Supplied

Two armoured tactical cars were in the convoy with one expected to carry Corby. People outside the parole gates were asking what’s happening, with local media and police yelling back “Corby, Corby” to which locals knowingly nodded.

“The marijuana queen finally leave,” said one local cafe worker passing by as police blowing whistles forced people to move on.

Present also was Titiek Sudaryatmi, the head of the parole office, and her staff many of whom have been involved specifically in the Corby case for many years.

Police officers arrive at the Bali Parole office in Denpasar to prepare for Schapelle Corby’s departure. Picture: Nathan Edwards

Police officers arrive at the Bali Parole office in Denpasar to prepare for Schapelle Corby’s departure. Picture: Nathan Edwards Source: Supplied

Denpasar police chief Hadi Purnomo told News Corporation today it was planned to use the same vehicle which has been used previously to transport police murder suspects, Byron Bay woman Sara Connor and her British boyfriend David Taylor.

Known as a tactical vehicle, Mr Purnomo said it was planned to use that vehicle “for security reasons”.

“The car is usually used to take prisoners,” he said, adding that the Corby family had not sought this.

The heavily armoured police tactical vehicle that could be Schapelle Corby’s ride to freedom. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

The heavily armoured police tactical vehicle that could be Schapelle Corby’s ride to freedom. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro Source: News Corp Australia

“No, not the family, we will use it for security reasons,” Mr Purnomo said.

The villa where Schapelle Corby has been living in Bali, Indonesia. Picture: Getty

The villa where Schapelle Corby has been living in Bali, Indonesia. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images

Mr Widiada said four police cars would escort Corby from her home to the parole board and then to the airport.

More than 100 police will be deployed in the operation to ensure Corby’s freedom ride goes smoothly and there are no injuries or incidents.

Police officers arrive at the Bali Parole office in Denpasar to prepare for Schapelle Corby to report one last time. Picture: Nathan Edwards.

Police officers arrive at the Bali Parole office in Denpasar to prepare for Schapelle Corby to report one last time. Picture: Nathan Edwards. Source: Supplied

The office at the Bali Parole office in Denpasar where Schapelle Corby will sign the paperwork allowing her to be deported to Australia. Picture: Nathan Edwards

The office at the Bali Parole office in Denpasar where Schapelle Corby will sign the paperwork allowing her to be deported to Australia. Picture: Nathan EdwardsSource: Supplied

Police also conducted a dry run at the parole offices of what the Corby arrival could look like to ensure she could make a quick entry and exit of the building.

At least 50 police are to be stationed at this location with others controlling the busy thoroughfare out front, at times chocked with Saturday shoppers, media vans and local onlookers, many eager to see the large police presence and marvelling at a low flying drone recording the scene.

Police spent some time walking about the building and streets looking at security measures.

Originally published as Schapelle Corby is a free woman


Corby leaves Bali villa to begin return

 
Lauren FarrowAustralian Associated Press

Schapelle Corby has left her Kuta home to attend the corrections office where she will report for the final time before she is deported to Australia.

These are the final steps in the journey that started 12 and a half years ago when she was caught at Denpasar airport with 4.2kg of marijuana in her boogie board bag in October 2004.

She was initially sentenced to 20 years in jail and spent more than a decade in Kerobokan prison.

Corby, 39, is now considered a “free woman” after her parole period ended just after midnight.

Head of Bali’s Law and Human Rights Office, Ida Bagus Ketut Adnyana, says Corby will be escorted to corrections in Denpasar to report for the last time and sign her release letter.

At around 6.30pm, she will go to the airport where she is due to board a 10.10pm Virgin flight to Brisbane.

Bali officials have said her sister Mercedes is “expecting a lot from security officials”, citing security concerns around the large media contingent on the Indonesian island and anyone else who “objects to her release”.

Officials say they want to keep her time at the airport brief, citing “security concerns”.

They are expecting around a quarter of the passengers on the flight to be from the media.

Mercedes Corby and her bodyguard, who has protected the likes of the Dalai Lama and Roger Federer, are expected to join her on the journey, as are correction officials.

She is expected to land in Brisbane – to another large media contingent – at 0545 on Sunday.

Her departure marks the end of the case that has put a strain on the often tumultuous relationship between Indonesia and Australia.

“Not only was it a major political issue between our two countries, it defined the bilateral relationship for a number of years,” President of the Australian-based Indonesia Institute Ross Taylor told AAP.

It also revealed Australia’s “distorted perception” of Indonesia as a very “narrow one” – with “Schapelle Corby, Bintang Beer, Bali, terrorism and boat people” becoming synonymous with our neighbour, he added.

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Police smash tax fraud Syndicate-ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston embroiled in $165m fraud investigation


18/05/2017

More to follow with news a senior journo Steve Barrett being allegedly involved with a blackmail plot with a member of the conspiracy Daniel Rostankovski  who was allegedly aggrieved he was not getting his fair share…See down for more details

ATO deputy allegedly sought to seek a deal for son in $165 m tax fraud,,, Mr Cranston has been issued a future court attendance notice for the charge of abusing his position as a public official. He is due to appear in Sydney’s Central Local Court on June 13.

His son, Adam Cranston, 30, and his daughter, Lauren Anne Cranston, 24, have also been charged following an eight-month investigation, codenamed Operation Elbrus.

It’s alleged ATO deputy Michael Cranston accessed restricted information on an ATO audit for his son, but police do not believe he knew about his son’s alleged fraud syndicate.

Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Leanne Close said the syndicate appeared to use the money to fund a “lavish lifestyle”.

Among the items seized under proceeds of crime were 25 motor vehicles, including luxury cars and racing cars, 12 motorbikes, 18 residential properties, two aircraft, $1 million from a safe deposit box, firearms, jewellery, bottles of Grange wine and artworks.

ATO Second Commissioner Andrew Mills said two other ATO officers were also being investigated internally for a potential code of conduct breaches. It’s believed they tried to look up information on the ATO’s audit at the behest of Michael Cranston….Robbo

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Police will allege the group had a lavish lifestyle and diverted taxpayer funds to buy planes, sports cars, jewellery, property, artwork and fine wines.

As part of the operation, officers have seized:

  • 25 motor vehicles
  • $15 million in bank accounts
  • 18 residential properties
  • 12 motorbikes
  • Two aircraft
  • Firearms
  • Jewellery
  • Artwork
  • Vintage wines
  • $1 million in a safe deposit box

Acting AFP deputy operations commissioner Leanne Close said the ATO got involved in the investigation when alleged evidence of fraud mounted.

 


Veteran Sydney journalist Steve Barrett allegedly blackmailed tax syndicate

By Rachel Olding

A veteran Sydney journalist allegedly blackmailed members of a $165 million tax fraud syndicate after conspirators in the group had a falling out, it can be revealed.

Explosive documents tendered in Central Local Court on Thursday state that well-known television journalist and former crime reporter Steve Barrett allegedly blackmailed two members of the syndicate during a meeting at the offices of Clamenz Lawyers on February 1st 2017

Eight people were arrested on Thursday over the alleged tax fraud syndicate including Adam and Laura Cranston, the son and daughter of Australian Taxation Office Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston.

Michael Cranston has also been issued a future court attendance notice for a charge of abusing his position as a public official.

The police documents reveal that one syndicate member, Daniel Rostankovski, turned on other conspirators and allegedly tried to extort money from them.

At the February 1 meeting, Mr Rostankovski and Mr Barrett allegedly threatened to expose the conspiracy in the media if money wasn’t handed over.

“Police allege … Rostankovski and Barrett attempted to blackmail the co-conspirators in relation to their involvement in the conspiracy,” the police documents state.

Mr Rostankovski allegedly demanded $5 million or Mr Barrett would expose the group in the media.

Mr Rostankovski felt like he had been deceived by the group as other members were receiving more money than him.

The group allegedly agreed to their demands if he didn’t go to the media, the police or the ATO. An agreement was signed that outlined such undertakings, the police documents reveal.

Mr Rostankovski, a 28-year-old from Waterloo, was granted strict bail in Central Local Court on Thursday. Mr Barrett has not been charged. He did not return Fairfax Media’s calls on Thursday.

Barrett, who previously worked for 60 Minutes, was a long-time employee as a producer in the Channel 7 newsroom but left the network in March 2016, before the alleged blackmail took place.

Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Leanne Close said the syndicate appeared to use the money to fund a “lavish lifestyle”.

Among the items seized under proceeds of crime were 25 motor vehicles, including luxury cars and racing cars, 12 motorbikes, 18 residential properties, two aircraft, $1 million from a safe deposit box, firearms, jewellery, bottles of Grange wine and artworks.

ATO Second Commissioner Andrew Mills said two other ATO officers were also being investigated internally for potential code of conduct breaches. It’s believed they tried to look up information on the ATO’s audit at the behest of Michael Cranston.

The announcement came after nearly 300 police officers on Wednesday carried out raids across Sydney, Wollongong and the Southern Highlands, arresting nine people.

Among those who appeared in court on Thursday are Mr Rostankovski, 28, from Waterloo; Jason Cornell Onley, 47, from Vaucluse; Daniel Hausman, 47, from Woollahra; Christopher James Guillan, 46, from Sutherland; Dev Menon, 33, from Wahroonga and Devyn Hammon, 24, from Balgownie.

Police will allege in court that the syndicate members ran a legitimate payroll company, Plutus Payroll, and accepted money from legitimate clients to process payroll on their behalf.

“This money was transferred to seven sub-contracted companies known as Tier 2 companies, which then made payroll payments to individual workers or clients,” the federal police said in a statement.

Tax office investigators, who helped the federal police during the investigation, estimate the amount of tax obligations not paid to the tax office to be $165 million.

Mr Mills described Michael Cranston as one of the organisation’s “long-serving senior officers” who had “quite an illustrious [career] up until this point”.

Mr Mills said he was confident the tax office’s systems had not been compromised nor breached and the accused employees were not able to obtain any information.

“The investigation has so far not revealed any evidence of actual intervention or influence on audit cases, or of money being refunded, or of tax liability being changed,” Mr Mills said.

“The information I have to date shows no compromise of the operations of our administration. Our systems, controls and procedures worked effectively and we have been able to successfully isolate and protect the investigation, working well with the Australian Federal Police over many months to build a picture of what has been happening.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull congratulated the federal police for the investigation and “taking the action that they have”.

 

ATO Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston allegedly sought to cut deal for son Adam Cranston

By Nick McKenzie

Deputy ATO commissioner to be charged

Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Tax Office Michael Cranston allegedly sought to pressure colleagues to cut a deal with his son after learning he was the subject of a major tax fraud investigation, sources said.

Mr Cranston learnt of the investigation after his son, Adam Cranston, approached him and told his father that he believed his company was the subject of an ongoing inquiry.

Michael Cranston.Michael Cranston. Photo: Rob Homer

Michael Cranston allegedly subsequently approached a Tax Office assistant commissioner and raised the prospect that his son’s company was being targeted.

 

Michael Cranston allegedly simultaneously sought to downplay his son’s involvement in the alleged criminal scheme.

  • Two high-ranking Tax Office officials who spoke to Michael Cranston about the inquiry into his son have also been stood down, pending further investigation.
  • It is understood that Michael Cranston allegedly inquired as to whether a deal could be struck to resolve any probe.
  • The Tax Office sometimes resolves matters by agreeing to receive a payment from those accused of tax fraud.
  • Michael Cranston also allegedly sought to reach out to investigators involved in the multi-agency investigation but was unable to do so because the Australian Federal Police had warned them that such an approach might be likely.

One of nine people being arrested over a $165 million tax fraud investigation.

One of nine people being arrested over a $165 million tax fraud investigation.  Photo: AAP/Australian Federal Police

Adam Cranston was allegedly involved in the unlawful tax fraud scheme from the middle of 2016.

The scheme, which allowed the accused to make tens of millions of dollars in allegedly illegal profits, was started much earlier by another of the accused.

Police seized $1 million from a safe deposit box during Wednesday's raids.

Police seized $1 million from a safe deposit box during Wednesday’s raids. Photo: Australian Federal Police

Adam Cranston allegedly displayed unexplained wealth, including a collection of prestige cars.

But Michael Cranston is suspected to have been unaware that his son was the subject of the probe until Adam approached him.

Tax tsar’s son charged over alleged scam that netted $165 million

 

It comes after his son Adam was charged over his role in a $165 million tax scam.

The Daily Telegraph today revealed Cranston’s son, Adam was charged over his alleged role in a fraud syndicate that police claim stole more than $165 million — one of the biggest white-collar crimes in Australia’s history.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal Australian Federal Police yesterday arrested Adam Cranston at his Bondi flat in one of 27 raids on homes and businesses across Sydney.

Adam Cranston, son of ATO boss Michael Cranston, is arrested at his Bondi flat yesterday over his role a $165 million fraud syndicate. Picture: Police Media

Cranston was charged last night with conspiracy to ­defraud the commonwealth and is expected to face Central Local Court today.

It’s understood eight others were arrested and facing possible charges.

The 30-year-old Cranston is the son of ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston, but there is no suggestion Michael Cranston had any involvement in or ­knowledge of the criminal syndicate.

Adam Cranston on his wedding day to wife Elizabeth. There is no suggestion Elizabeth was involved in the alleged scam. Picture: Facebook

Sources close to the investigation claim Adam was a “co-conspirator” in a group that used an elaborate tax scam to fund a celebrity lifestyle that included prime Sydney real estate, boats — and even a racing car team.

“This investigation has ­uncovered high-level organised activity; it is complex (and) sophisticated,” the source last night told The Daily Telegraph.

Adam Cranston marries wife Elizabeth. There is no suggestion Elizabeth was involved in the alleged scam.

“I think it will take the police a long time to figure out exactly how much money (is involved).”

It is believed police will ­allege the fraud is one of the largest ever seen in Australia.

Investigators allege Sydney financial services firm SYNEP, of which Adam is co-chairman and managing ­director, was part of the ­operation.

ATO Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston
Adam Cranston is escorted from the scene at Bondi yesterday. Picture: Police Media.

Payroll contractor Plutus Payroll, controlled by SYNEP, was the centrepiece of the ­alleged hustle.

Police will claim it would allegedly funnel wage payments through a series of “second tier” companies. who then paid the ATO only a fraction of the required income tax.

The remaining withheld tax would then allegedly flow into the pockets of syndicate operators.

The scammers believed they had struck a sweet spot where each individual fraud was too small to prompt ­action from the ATO.

One source said it was “like saying to your schoolteacher, ‘I’ve done most of my homework, I’ll bring the rest next week’.”

The net tightened when both the AFP and ATO ­noticed alleged discrepancies in parallel investigations.

Police escort Adam Cranston from the scene yesterday. Picture: Police Media

The sum of the frauds is understood to be more than $165 million, with the extent of Cranston’s own alleged profits expected to be revealed in court.

Investigators said their probe focused on a 12-month snapshot of the group’s alleged activities.

Sources also allege the scheme had another sinister angle.

How the scam was carried out

Police will claim the syndicate would pay struggling people a regular fee so they could set up the second tier companies in their names. However, the syndicate had total control of the companies.

Plutus Payroll hit the headlines earlier this month when the ATO froze its bank ­accounts over unpaid tax debts, meaning its clients’ staff could not be paid.

Police examine a vehicle at Adam Cranston’s Bondi flat yesterday. Picture: Police Media

In a statement earlier this month, Plutus apologised to its customers “continuing ­distress caused by our inability to process your pay since 27 April”.

“Our dispute is with the Australian Taxation Office who believe that Plutus owes the ATO money,” the statement said.

“Acting in a draconian and unfair manner, the ATO froze Plutus’ bank accounts on 27 April without prior warning or any consultation.

“We received no notice of intention to audit, no complaint and no other advance warning of noncompliance from the ATO.

 

“When the ATO acted, without notice, they froze our bank accounts and we became unable to pay our contractors the money owed to them.”

On May 10, the company announced the ATO had ­allowed the release of the money.

With more than 35 years at ATO, Michael Cranston has spearheaded many public campaigns to catch tax cheats.

“I am responsible for ­increasing compliance and willing participation in our tax and super system,” one of his social media accounts states.

“I recently chaired the OECD Task Force on Tax Crimes.”

The ATO last night ­refused to comment on the­ ­investigation.

And Michael Cranston did not respond to questions put to him through the ATO.

The ATO said it “will not comment on ongoing investigations at this time”.

“Due to privacy considerations the ATO is unable to comment on individual ­employees,” it said.

A CASE OF LIVE FAST AND FRY YOUNG

POLICE claim assets linked to an alleged $165 million tax fraud case include sports cars, expensive properties, boats and even a race team.

Cars were a particular passion for one of the alleged “co-conspirators” of the crime. Adam Cranston loved them so much there’s even a wedding day photo of the now 30-year-old with his wife and a slick race car.

There is no suggestion Cranston’s wife had any knowledge of or involvement in the alleged fraud.

A source said that among the property seized by police is an orange and blue Ford GT in Cranston’s ­possession.

Cranston started a race car team last year. And he named it after the ­financial services firm now at the centre of the alleged crime, SYNEP. The team competed in the Australian Prototype Series and in February celebrated a podium finish at Mount Panorama.


ATO official Michael Cranston facing charges over son’s alleged 65m fraud – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

ATO official Michael Cranston facing charges over son’s alleged $165m fraud

18/03/17 Updated 8 minutes ago

One of Australia’s most senior tax officials has been embroiled in a major fraud investigation following the arrest of his son, which allegedly involved $165 million being stolen from the Commonwealth.

Deputy tax commissioner Michael Cranston has been issued with a court attendance notice, while his son, Adam Cranston, was arrested in Sydney yesterday as part of an Australian Federal Police sting.

Michael Cranston will be charged with abusing his position as a public official relating to the fraud, although he is not believed to be a conspirator.

Adam Cranston, 30, was arrested at his flat in the affluent beach suburb of Bondi during raids yesterday and has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth.

At a press conference in Sydney today, officials said Michael Cranston could have been unwittingly involved in his son’s alleged crimes.

In all, nine people were arrested in Sydney yesterday as the AFP carried out 28 raids.

At a press conference today, the AFP alleged the group used “lavish lifestyles” to help hide the funds, including 25 motor vehicles, $15 million in cash, 18 residential properties and two aircraft.

Adam Cranston will face Central Local Court in Sydney later today.

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison said the arrests served as a warning.

“This is a major government crackdown and what the events today with this major fraud bust … demonstrates is that if you are a crook and you are seeking to defraud the taxpayer, we will find you,” he said.

“We will track you down. We will make sure you are brought to justice.”

The ABC understands Michael Cranston has been employed by the ATO for more than three decades and is involved in the organisation’s private groups and high wealth segment.

Part of his biography on his LinkedIn account reads: “My personal philosophy is that the tax system belongs to all Australians and we all need to work closely together to ensure that it is administered fairly, efficiently and causes the least pain for all that participate.”

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The ICAC is investigating corruption allegations concerning Emman Sharobeem for rorting hundreds of thousands of dollars on herself


The ICAC is investigating corruption allegations concerning Emman Sharobeem, the former CEO of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service(IWHS) and the Non-English Speaking Housing Women’s Scheme Inc (NESH).

The allegations include that Ms Sharobeem dishonestly exercised her official functions as IWHS CEO by: between 1 July 2009 and 17 February 2016, submitting invoices for reimbursement for goods and services to which she was not entitled and using an IWHS credit card to pay for personal expenses; between 2014 and 2015 submitting, and authorising payment by IWHS of, false invoices for facilitation fees and other services to herself and other persons to which they were not entitled; between 2011 and 2015, submitting, and authorising payment of, invoices by the IWHS for the renovation of her property in Fairfield; and between 2012 and 2014, falsifying IWHS statistics to NSW Health.

Ms Sharobeem is also alleged to have dishonestly exercised her official functions between 2006 and 2016 by claiming to be a psychologist holding two PhD degrees and a masters degree, and further using those qualifications to treat IWHS clients and gain promotion to the position of CEO of the IWHS and the NESH. As NESH CEO, Ms Sharobeem is alleged to have dishonestly exercised her official functions between 17 December 2013 and 23 November 2015 by authorising payments from NESH to be made to her own account, to which she was not entitled.

Between March 2011 and November 2016, Ms Sharobeem is also alleged to have fraudulently obtained and retained appointment as a Board member of the Community Relations Commission (now Multicultural NSW) and the Anti-Discrimination Board (now part of the Department of Justice) by using false academic qualifications.

The IWHS was a not-for-profit non-government organisation (NGO) women’s health service, primarily funded by NSW Health via South West Sydney Local Health District, while the NESH  was a not-for-profit NGO contracted and funded by the Department of Family and Community Services to provide affordable housing to women and children. In her capacity as CEO, Ms Sharobeem was a public official for the purposes of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988.

What so obvious (Did you see her on the news grabs last night going into ICAC)

Looked a different woman. Facelifts, liposuction, new teeth, body shaping, tens of thousands on designer handbags etc.

Can we see where this is going? She thought she was as entitled as some of the biggest over the top diva women in the poor countries who DESERVE all this material bullshit way pretending to stand up the poor and vulnerable women.

How disgusted must they be when to let’s say they asked her for help with a bill or their hair falling out from stress.

IT was a BIG NO.

While she got new teeth, got lipo, got skinny, wore the best, dined and the best. Even sold the property of the agency and kept around $600,000 profit to herself.

Flew all over the world, wearing clothes way beyond her means. I just want to be sick at the gall of this bitch. Regards Robbo

‘Why are you torturing me?’ Eman Sharobeem lashes out over ICAC psychology claim

Michael Evans

  • Michael Evans

Former Australian of the Year finalist Eman Sharobeem has lashed out at a public inquiry into claims she illegally practiced as a psychologist, saying she was being “tortured”.

Under heavy questioning from counsel assisting the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Ramesh Rajalingam, about client booking lists for the Immigrant Women’s Health Service, Ms Sharobeem insisted she did not treat anyone.

She was shown video of an appearance on SBS television program Insight and played audio from two ABC Radio National programs in which she claimed to be a psychologist. 

The commission has also been shown patient referrals from doctors and religious figures who sent people to her for treatment.

“You told people you were a psychologist?”

“No.”

“Do you accept a lot of people knew you as a psychologist?”

“How can I treat them if I’m not a psychologist? When I say in the media I’m a psychologist that’s shorthand for the honorary doctorate I received,” Ms Sharobeem said.

 

 

“Why are you torturing me to that extent? Sir, I did not treat anyone.”

Ms. Sharobeem also lashed out over questions concerning the execution of a search warrant at her home.

“I was invaded. You took everything I had,” she said.

The ICAC has alleged that Ms. Sharobeem holds no qualifications to practice as a psychologist despite her claims to hold a Ph.D. in psychology.

Ms. Sharobeem has given evidence she was given an honorary doctorate by the American University in Cairo but that evidence of it was burnt in a fire during the Arab Spring of 2012. 

She has denied she ever practiced as a psychologist. She has accepted she never completed psychology studies.

Ms. Sharobeem later apologized for her outburst, saying: “My apology for being heated.”