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

 

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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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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.”


 

Mariosarti restaurant owner Daniel Milos charged with cocaine trafficking


Mariosarti restaurant owner Daniel Milos charged with cocaine trafficking

Updated 22 minutes ago

The owner of an upmarket Brisbane restaurant and two of his employees have been arrested as part of a police operation targeting a drug and ice network.

Daniel Bernard Milos, 40, was arrested on Friday, along with four others after police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission swooped to close a 14-month operation.

The Toowong-based restaurant, Mariosarti, was raided by police as part of the probe.

More than 30 charges were laid and drugs with an estimated street value of $750,000 were seized.

Milos, of Fig Tree Pocket, was charged with trafficking cocaine.

Others arrested were named as Ryan David McIver, 29, Brad Matthew Watt, 42, Rebecca Jane Graham, 38 and a 35-year-old man who was given a drug diversion notice.

McIver is listed on the restaurant’s website as the head chef, while Graham describes herself as the restaurant’s payroll manager on her LinkedIn profile.

The group is expected to face court on Saturday morning.

Investigators commenced proceedings to confiscate cars, property, and assets under Queensland’s proceeds of crime laws.

Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker said police remained at several properties continuing to search for evidence.

“As a result of our operation we have targeted a prominent Brisbane businessman and the message that we’d like to get across here is if you wish to distribute dangerous drugs in our area we will target you no matter who you are,” he said.

“We will be alleging that this is a sophisticated network that’s been distributing drugs in our area.

“Cocaine is a drug of choice of the wealthy I would say — we are seeing an increase in cocaine on the streets in Queensland.

“We usually don’t run this type of cocaine operation, this is probably one of the biggest cocaine jobs that the Queensland Police Service has run.”

Topics: drug-offences, crime, law-crime-and-justice, cocaine

First posted about 3 hours ago


 

Mariosarti restaurant owner Daniel Milos on drug charges

  • Jorge Branco and Toby Crockford

A prominent Brisbane restaurant owner, whose brother was bludgeoned to death, has been arrested on drug charges.

Police executed 11 search warrants on Friday morning in what has been described as one of the biggest cocaine operations in the history of Queensland police

One of the premises raided was Toowong Italian restaurant Mariosarti, with owner Daniel Milos arrested. Police also raided 10 other addresses across the Gold Coast and Brisbane, including a Fig Tree Pocket home.

Police said five people in total had been arrested on 33 drug-related charges and expected further charges to be laid at a later date. The others in custody have been described as Mr. Milos’ “business associates”.

The searches and arrests were carried out as part of Operation Oscar Decimal, which started in February 2016 and saw the Queensland Police Service working with the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Drug and Serious Crime Group Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker estimated the street value of the cocaine seized during the 14-month operation to be between $750,000 and $1 million. He said a significant quantity had been seized as part of Friday’s searches, along with high-end vehicles.

He described the operation as a “sophisticated network”, saying investigations were ongoing but added police had targeted a “prominent business person”.

“If you wish to distribute dangerous drugs in our area, we will target you, no matter who you are,” he said.

Superintendent Wacker said cocaine was a drug of choice for the wealthy and police had seen an increase in cocaine on the streets. He added the sharing of information across Queensland law enforcement agencies had led to the establishment and success of Operation Oscar Decimal.

Mr. Milos’ chef brother Peter, with whom he owned the restaurant, was bludgeoned to death in 2014. James Thomas Howell was acquitted in February of the chef’s murder.

ACIC state manager Charlie Carver said the result was significant due to the large amount of drugs seized and disruption to the distribution network.

“Many criminals run so-called front-end shops and businesses which will appear at first blush to actually be legitimate,” he said.

“However once you dig into the investigation and you look through what’s actually been happening, you find the illegal activity which is used to launder funds and also fund further illicit activities.”

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Online dating site victim conned out of $127k, Robyn Clare Pearce jailed for 14 months-Has form


Robyn Clare Pearce jailed for 14 months-Has form so why a shitty short sentence.What about repayment, no remorse she will get out after learning a few more scams in jail to get out there and  rip them off for more money more often. Get real

Sandford woman Robyn Clare Pearce walks from the Hobart Magistrate's Court.
Sandford woman Robyn Clare Pearce walks from the Hobart Magistrate’s Court.

Online dating site victim conned out of $127k, Hobart woman jailed for 14 months

A Hobart woman had been jailed for 14 months for conning $127,000 out of a New South Wales man she met through an online dating site.

Robyn Clare Pearce, 62 of Sandford, pleaded guilty to dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage.

Pearce met the 60-year-old retired public servant online in August 2007 and by October that year was spinning elaborate lies to get him to lend her money.

He did so on 122 occasions, lending a total of $127,000.

She gave him several reasons for needing money, including legal fees incurred pursuing her ex-husband for child maintenance, furnishing a flat and buying a car for her daughter and paying for her elderly mother’s medical treatment.

In truth, Pearce spent the money on gambling.

The court heard Pearce put $2 million through poker machines at Wrest Point Casino between July 2007 and December 2010.

By November 2008, her victim was selling assets to fund the loans to her.

Victim sold home after mortgage default threat

He extended his mortgage but the retiree was unable to keep up with the payments.

When his bank threatened to default on the mortgage, he sold his house and moved into a modest home in rural Victoria.

The court heard Pearce repeatedly promised she would move there to join him and would get a job to pay him back.

But Pearce’s physical and mental health meant she knew at the time she was making promises that she would never be able to keep.

Justice Helen Wood accepted that Pearce did not befriend the man with the intent to defraud him.

“I accept that the relationship the defendant had with the complainant was a friendship and she valued that,” Justice Wood said.

“She did not set out to prey on him.” I say absolute bullshit to that

History of similar offences

But Justice Wood said Pearce had taken advantage of her victim’s kind and generous nature and spun him elaborate lies repeatedly in order to convince him to lend her money.

Pearce had originally also been charged with defrauding a 92-year-old American man she met through a Christian dating site of about $122,000 between 2011 and 2015.

But that charge was dropped after her plea of guilty in the current case.

In 2012, she was jailed for convincing a Queensland man she met through a dating site to part with almost $80,000.

The court heard Pearce had previously also received suspended, or partly suspended sentences, for other dishonesty matters.

She was sentenced to 14 months’ jail for the latest offending, with Justice Wood noting Pearce’s anxiety and agoraphobia, and her poor physical health, would make the sentence more burdensome for her.

Pearce will not be eligible for parole until she has served seven months.


Online love fraudster Robyn Clare Pearce behind bars after fleecing lonely NSW man of $127,000

A GAMBLING-addicted Sandford woman has been jailed for defrauding a lonely pensioner of more than $120,000 in an online love scam.

Robyn Clare Pearce, 62, pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining a financial benefit by deception.

In the Supreme Court in Hobart this morning, Justice Helen Wood said Pearce met a 60-year-old New South Wales man through an internet dating site in August 2007.

Although the pair never met, they exchanged messages and Pearce asked the man for money to pay bills.

After he transferred $1500 to her account, she continued to make demands every few days for money for medical care, to buy a vehicle or furniture and to pay debts.

When he tried to refuse her demands, Pearce became insistent. In all she received $127,000 from the man.

A lonely NSW man targeted in an online dating scam was relieved of $127,000 by a Tasmanian woman, who has been jailed for fraud.

Justice Wood said as a result of Pearce’s actions, the man had been forced to sell his home and move to a more modest abode in rural Victoria — holding out hope that she would move to be with him.

He had been left in financial trouble, depressed and socially isolated by her actions and had trouble trusting people, the court heard.

Pearce had lost $200,000 after putting $2 million though the poker machines at Wrest Point Casino, Justice Wood said.

The judge noted Pearce has a long history of fraud offending and had breached three suspended sentenced by her actions.

She said the offending has taken advantage of the victim’s kind and generous nature and Pearce’s moral culpability was high, despite a number of mental and physical problems which made prison a tough environment for her.

She sentenced Pearce to 14 months in prison, with a seven month non-parole period.

Pearce was also accused of stealing $122,000 from a 91-year-old American man she met via a Christian dating website but those charges were discontinued by the Crown.


Sandford woman Robyn Clare Pearce pleads not guilty in Hobart court to alleged online dating fraud

A SANDFORD woman has pleaded not guilty to fraud offences relating to an alleged internet dating scam.

Robyn Clare Pearce, 61, appeared in the Hobart Magistrates Court this morning.

She is charged with dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage.

Police allege Ms Pearce defrauded tens of thousands of dollars from a 64-year-old New South Wales man between April 2011 and January this year.

Magistrate Simon Cooper granted Ms Pearce bail and ordered her to appear in the Supreme Court on June 9.


Woman admits internet ‘love fraud’

Updated 16 Oct 2012, 10:40am

Sandford woman Robyn Clare Pearce walks from the Hobart Magistrate's Court
Sandford woman Robyn Clare Pearce walks from the Hobart Magistrate’s Court

A Hobart court has ordered a woman to seek counselling after she convinced a Queensland man to give her nearly $80,000 over the internet.

Robyn Clare Pearce from Sandford in southern Tasmania admitted dishonestly acquiring money from a Queensland man she met through an internet dating site in 2007.

During a three-year phone and email relationship, Peace convinced the man to lend her nearly $80,000.

The Hobart Magistrates Court heard she made up a variety of reasons for borrowing the money but never paid it back.

She also got the man to falsely email that she had repaid some of the money.

Pearce was sentenced to 10 months’ jail for dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage relating to $22,600.

Eight months of her sentence was suspended, provided Peace is of good behaviour and undergoes psychological treatment.

She also has to pay back the money.


 

Secret boardroom tapes that WILL sink Eels and scare the crap out of other clubs on the list


NRL Tonight reveals the secret tapes that sunk Parramatta Eels officials.

EXPLOSIVE meeting tapes show that several board members and senior management of the Parramatta Eels were actively aware of — and in some cases, actively participated in — an elaborate scheme to cheat the NRL’s salary cap over a period of at least two years between 2013 and 2015.

A copy of the NRL’s breach notice — exclusively revealed by The Daily Telegraph’s television partner Fox Sports — shows that members of the board even discussed whether “fraud” had taken place at the club in its thwarting of the salary cap.

The new material implicates the five Eels officials who have already been suspended for their roles in the Eels salary cap scandal: chairman Steve Sharp, CEO John Boulous, deputy chairman Tom Issa, director Peter Serrao and head of football Daniel Anderson.

Parramatta Eels chairman Steve Sharp avoids the media.

But it also threatens to snare other current members of the board, including former Parramatta MP Tanya Gadiel and fellow current Eels board member Andrew Cordwell.

At one point in a June 2015 board meeting, Gadiel discusses a third-party payment made by one firm to star former player Anthony Watmough, which was paid by the club to a third party through inflated invoices.

Sharp said the club was effectively paying the deal. “So she was going to increase her charges to us. So we are paying the third-party deal,” he said.

Gadiel says of the deal: “Sorry, that’s the f-word, that’s fraud isn’t it. That is fraud.”

The following exchange then takes place:

Sharp: It’s not fraud.

Gadiel (to Cordwell): What do you reckon?

Cordwell: It’s certainly fudging the figures, all right … we’re going out there … it’s a variation of how people breach the cap.

The explosive tapes — along with the boardroom minutes exposed by The Daily Telegraph in first uncovering the club’s conspiracy to cheat the cap that launched the NRL forensic investigation in March — confirm that the club knowingly lied in multiple declarations to the NRL that it was compliant with NRL salary cap rules.

In the club’s now infamous March 2014 board meeting, Boulous is discussed as the point of contact for ­directly sourcing third-party ­agreements. It is actively discussed for the club to directly source TPAs through a subsidiary called The Premiership Club.

TPAs are meant to be at arm’s length from the club and the board, but it is clear from the transcript of the tapes that senior officials are anything but arm’s length.

Parramatta Eels CEO John Boulous is heard clearly on the tapes.

Boulous talks at length about sourcing TPAs, and at one point remarkably says of references to The Premiership Club: “I think that should be taken out (of the minutes).”

Seward notes that the use of the club is “sailing as close to the wind as breaking the salary cap possibly can”.

Also in March 2014, Anderson talks of the importance of sourcing TPAs. Sharp’s reply is succinct: “We can get those. We’ve got to work hard to get those TPAs.”

In the June 2015 meeting, it is Issa who points to the enormity of the dodgy third-party deals when discussing a massive third-party payment to Anthony Watmough.

“Two years ago everyone came in and hit me and Steve (Sharp) up, and Daniel (Anderson), when Ricky Stuart left and we took over from (former chairman) Roy (Spagnolo),” Issa said.

Board member Tanya Gadiel appears to have also been caught in the scandal.

“The severity of those were so minimal compared to this that it’s ­absurd. There was fraudulent conduct conducted previously that we said no to. We said no to all the ones that were in that dirty laundry where you just turned around and said no.”

Shortly after, Cordwell is clearly agitated about the discussion, and asks to turn off the tape: “Can we turn off the recorder? Can we just turn it off? Is that possible? I just want to speak openly. Can you turn it off and suspend the meeting or something?”

Sharp replies: “It’s off, mate”

NRL: Nathan Peats talks to the press following the Parramatta Eels? move to sell him to the Gold Coast Titans

In a September 2015 board meeting, Serrao asks about the status of an internal inquiry by club internal investigator Rob Mulherin into “possible fraudulent conduct” and transactions involving third-party providers including Zibara Clothing, after warnings made internally by ­executives.

There is no suggestion Zibara has done anything wrong.

Sharp replies that he had spoken with Parramatta Leagues Club CEO Bevan Paul and club lawyer John de Mestre. “Their recommendation is we probably not proceed with digging up too many skeletons and all that sort of stuff.”

Gadiel backs the decision to bury the inquiry. “There’s got to be a point where we draw a line in the sand you know.”

Sharp replies: “Yes and it’s time now where we move forward and focus on our actions and view what we’ve done right and wrong, and move forward and forget about the past.”

Gadiel replies: “Yep.”


Transcripts reveal Parramatta Eels ‘slush fund’ to circumvent salary cap

May 16, 2016 – 11:21PM

Sports Writer

 

Former Eels chief executive Scott Seward.Former Eels chief executive Scott Seward. Photo: Getty Images

Parramatta’s so-called Premiership Club has been revealed in the transcripts of recorded board meetings to be a covert “slush fund” to provide third-party payments to Eels players.

The transcripts from the meetings, included in the NRL’s breach notice against the club and five officials and published by Fox Sports on Monday afternoon, show Parramatta executives and directors opening discussing the Eels’ TPA program over the past three years.

They identify the Premiership Club, a concept announced with fanfare in 2014 as a “premier business-networking group for western Sydney and beyond”, as a vehicle for the Eels to compete with rival teams in the third-party sphere and it demonstrates that officials appeared well aware the scheme was in breach of NRL rules.

After discussing the formation of the entity at a board meeting in February 2014 then chief executive Scott Seward describes John Boulous, then the Eels’ chief operating officer, as “the main point of contact” for the third-party payments system, explaining he and chairman Steve Sharp had to be distanced from it.

“Yeah, John will be the main point of contact, and importantly the reason for that is both Steve and myself are the one that have to sin the Stat Decs for the salary cap so it can’t be either of us, so John’s the right point of contact from a commercial perspective and that’s the way it will run,” Seward says.

Sharp then adds:  “I arranged a meeting today with a potential third party organisation so, we went around a bit, but at the end of the day we got to where we wanted to get to, they’ve come up with some ideas and some interest and I’m pretty confident we’ll get something out of this particular group and probably get some pretty strong leverage out of it.”

At the next month’s board meeting in March 2014 the desire to keep secret the functions of the Premiership Club, which was later shut down, is made clear. Boulous tells the meeting: “There’s a note … about the Premiership club in the minutes, I don’t know if it should really be in the minutes … I think that should be taken out.”

Seward replies:  “Yeah, we can talk about the Premiership club now. Do you mind if we have a look at that? Guys, we have to be really careful with this. You know, it’s sailing as close to the wind as breaking the salary cap possibly can. So I just think we need to be, we shouldn’t have anything in the board minutes about the Premiership club. Technically we should have nothing in writing about the Premiership club either, because the Premiership Club is not ours.

“It is a third party organisation. So we need to, you know, when we get contacts pass them on, and we’ll go and do the deal but — and we’ll obviously, communicate everything that is happening in that space, but we need to be so goddamn careful with this it’s not funny. This is not the Bulldogs and it’s not the Melbourne Storm stuff, but let’s not even get anywhere near that.”

Board members Tom Issa and Peter Serrao are then are involved in a discussion about whether the talk about third-party deals should be included in the minutes. “I don’t write the minutes,” Issa said, before Serrao adds: “They’re only draft minutes anyway.”

In another recording from March 2014 football manager Daniel Anderson tells the meeting the club of the need for third-party deals, saying: “You need a million. Seriously. Because the Bulldogs have got $2 million. The Roosters have got $2.5 million.”

Seward adds later in that transcript: that the system had been set up to appear at “pure arm’s length.” “There’s transactions between the business and the Club and there’s transactions between the Club and the players and player managers. That’s, that in effect is our ‘Slush Fund’, for want of a better word,” he said.

At a further meeting on June 25 2015 shortly after the exit of Seward, there is lengthy discussion about a third-party deal for the now-retired veteran second-rower Anthony Watmough with PJ Promotions, during which board member Tanya Gadiel says: “Sorry, that’s the f-word, that’s fraud isn’t it. That is fraud.”

Later, another director Andrew Cordwell says of the tape: “Can we turn off the recorder? Can we just turn it off? Is that possible? I just want to speak openly. Can you turn it off and suspend the meeting or something?

Sharp replies: “It’s off mate.”


Secret tapes sink Eels

2:09
Exclusive: Secret boardroom tapes that exposed Parramatta Eels salary cap scandal
THESE are extracts from the secret boardroom meeting tapes that led to the Parramatta Eels being docked 12 competition points for blatantly cheating the salary cap through $3 million worth of undisclosed third-party payments.

Fox Sports has obtained a copy of the NRL’s Breach Notice issued to the Parramatta Eels on May 3, which details the tape recordings.

The detailed transcripts expose how club powerbrokers schemed to establish a system dubbed the “Premiership Club” which was deliberately designed to secure secret “slush fund” third-party payments for players.

On the recordings, board member Tanya Gadiel talks about the f-word — “fraud” — while another board member Andrew Cordwell instructs the tape be switched off when the group is deep in discussion about Anthony Watmough and a dodgy third-party deal.

The tapes clearly show the three board members who the NRL has suspended — chairman Steve Sharp, deputy chairman Tom Issa and Peter Serrao — along with CEO John Boulous and general manager of football Daniel Anderson were abundantly aware of what was going on at the club.

REVEALED: SECRET LISTS THAT HELPED NRL CRACK THE SALARY CAP SCANDAL CASE

Sacked CEO Scott Seward and Boulous are identified as two of the primary architects of the scheme, while board members Gadiel and Cordwell appear to have dodged a bullet by the NRL refraining from stripping them of their credentials.

For Parramatta’s legion of blue and gold fans, the transcripts of the tapes will at least provide some clarity about who knew about why the Eels have been stripped on 12 competition points and fined $1 million by the NRL.

These are the transcripts that were produced by the NRL in chronological order.

Fox Sports has chosen not to publish names of players and agents from the transcripts, and marked those as “REDACTED”.

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 10 December 2013
SCOTT SEWARD (EX-CEO): We do need, and what we’ll do, is we’ll actually sit down and go through TPA’s as a whole. There’s a few different options. I’ve spoken to Todd Greenberg about the way that Canterbury, and the best options, I’ve spoken to Wayne Beavis to tell us how f$%^ed we are, um, and the like. But it is a case of sitting down and working out the best way we can do it. Because right now we’re batting this game with one arm tied behind our back. The Roosters have probably got $1.5m in TPA, and that’s fair, that’s the game. That’s the way it is.

JOHN BOULOUS (SUSPENDED CEO): Who owns TPA’s at the moment?

TOM ISSA (SUSPENDED DEPUTY CHAIRMAN): They gave it to Jamie (Hollebone, ex-GM corporate sales) initially.

SEWARD: Ken (Edwards, the ex-CEO) gave it to Jamie, Jamie didn’t know anything about it, he still doesn’t know anything about it, so that’s why we’ve got zero.

PETER SERRAO (SUSPENDED BOARD MEMBER): John, do you know much about it, the process?

BOULOUS: I’m learning about it, yeah, I understand the concept of it though.

SEWARD: There’s a few ways we can do it. The consequences are enormous if we stuff it up because it is what it is. It’s supposed to be arm’s length, it’s actually supposed to have nothing to do with us. So we’ve just got to make sure we do it the right way.

STEVE SHARP (SUSPENDED CHAIRMAN): Melbourne stuffed it up.

SEWARD: It’s important we do it right. (Player’s name REDACTED) is a massive concern.

ISSA: Only because he doesn’t honour the commitment that you make. Players think TPA is free money, they’ve actually got to do something.

SEWARD: The problem we’ve got, let’s use (REDACTED) as an example. There’s a contract done, it’s a hand written contract. It’s all handwritten, it says “TPA — please note we cannot guarantee this”, which is the correct way to do it. Problem is there’s a secondary letter, which says we will guarantee it. You can’t do that. You can’t do that.

SEWARD: The secondary letter has come from Ken (Edwards) So, but we’ve got to honour this stuff. I’ve seen the letter. I got shown — it was shoved in my face.

UNKNOWN: Look the Broncos have done it very well over the years, we’ve had, what is it, the Thoroughbred Club, we need to create something like that. I know we tried to ..

SEWARD: We’ve got that on the agenda right now, that’s part of what we’re doing. We’re waiting for Daniel (Anderson) obviously to get here, John (Boulous) has now had a couple of weeks — one of the suggestions to us is that we actually employ an external consultant and that’s what they do.

SEWARD: We get the Chairman’s club up and running or the Locker Club or whatever the hell we call it, it doesn’t actually matter, but we start to get a pool …

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: February 14, 2014
SERRAO: TPA’s, you mentioned last time …

SEWARD: We’re now at a stage where we are discussing with people that are actually going to form the Committee for the Premiership Club that we’re looking at. Everything is working in the right space at this stage and the guys have had meetings with the potential external consultant who is going to come on and do that other side of the TPA’s as well, so we’re well in track and we’re actually now starting to ..

SERRAO: John (Boulous) is the central point of contact for that?

SEWARD: It’ll be John and Daniel (Anderson), obviously, Daniel … to use the Premiership Club for example, John gets it and Daniel will spend it.

SERRAO: Yeah, yeah, but he’s the main point of contact as we’ve got in the minutes here ..

SEWARD: Yeah, John will be the main point of contact, and importantly the reason for that is both Steve (Sharp) and myself are the one that have to sin the Stat Decs for the salary cap so it can’t be either of us, so John’s the right point of contact from a commercial perspective and that’s the way it will run.

SHARP: I arranged a meeting today with a potential Third Party organisation so, we went around a bit, but at the end of the day we got to where we wanted to get to, they’ve come up with some ideas and some interest and I’m pretty confident we’ll get something out of this particular group and probably get some pretty strong leverage out of it.

SEWARD: We’re starting to make some quite positive progress there.

SHARP: Have you made an arrangement with that other, um … Steven Moss (club benefactor)?

SEWARD: Yep.

SHARP: When’s that happening?

SEWARD: It will hopefully be Monday. I’m just waiting for Steven to come back to me with that. We’ve been backwards and forwards on email.

SHARP: So the one today looks positive and that sort of stuff, a large accounting firm, they’re in the promotions game as well, so that’s where we can leverage off for the use of our Players and that.

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: March 2014

BOULOUS: There’s a note … about the Premiership club in the minutes, I don’t know if it should really be in the minutes … I think that should be taken out.

SEWARD: Yeah, we can talk about the Premiership club now. Do you mind if we have a look at that? Guys, we have to be really careful with this. You know, it’s sailing as close to the wind as breaking the salary cap possibly can. So I just think we need to be, we shouldn’t have anything in the board minutes about the Premiership club.

SEWARD: Technically we should have nothing in writing about the Premiership club either, because the Premiership Club is not ours. It is a third party organisation. So we need to, you know, when we get contacts pass them on, and we’ll go and do the deal but — and we’ll obviously, communicate everything that is happening in that space, but we need to be so goddamn careful with this it’s not funny. This is not the Bulldogs and it’s not the Melbourne Storm stuff, but let’s not even get anywhere near that. This is a pure, third party organisation that is separate and independent and is at true arm’s length of our business so we shouldn’t be discussing it.

BOULOUS: In relation to the distribution of funds so I don’t think that should …

ISSA: I don’t write the minutes.

BELL: Just not typing anything now. (Laughter).

BELL: It’s in the last minutes.

SEWARD: It’s even, it’s things like don’t send me an email that says anything about Premiership Club, to be honest though, that’s all I’m, you know — just the contacts.

SERRAO: They’re only draft minutes anyway.

BOULOUS: Yeah, I was just saying that they shouldn’t be …

SEWARD: We’re probably being overly cautious on it.

ISSA: We need to be.

SEWARD: Correct. Because this is how we can fix next year. And the year after.

BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 26 March 2014

DANIEL ANDERSON (SUSPENDED GM OF FOOTBALL): (Three players’ names REDACTED) they’re all on our books. And it’s crippling to our salary cap and our strategic direction of your club. So at the end of 2015, we need to — we’ve got a lot of good young kids but they’re going to be so expensive we won’t have them in three years. So (player’s name REDACTED) because of his contract style, we might only have him for two or three years, unless we’ve got assistance: TPA’s. That’s it, so he’ll be a $300,000 winger within two years.

SHARP: We can get those. We’ve got to work hard to get those TPA’s, but we have to clean up that salary cap as well in the next two or three years.

ANDERSON: Well, we do — we can be hard on it, we can assist, and the way to do it is for (player’s name REDACTED) deal is you get a TPA now for him, in which case next year, whatever the TPA is that we can afford now, it’s off the salary cap in 2015, in his deal. So he gets paid this year in the TPA for next year’s contract figure, but we have already got some TPA components that we — so, um, yeah, the Premiership Club, the TPA’s is the absolute key, but you need …

SHARP: You need 30 of ’em …

ANDERSON: You need a million. Seriously. Because the Bulldogs have got $2 million. The Roosters have got $2.5 million.

SEWARD: See that’s the thing, we’re not talking about going and getting $500,000 here. We actually need to be getting …

BOULOUS: Millions.

SEWARD: Millions. But we do, because it’s the only way we can clean it up.

ANDERSON: We’ve done really well this year. I guarantee you.

SHARP: But where it bites into you is that generally a lot of that money comes from what would have been revenue for your corporate side of things.

SEWARD: Correct.

ANDERSON: It’s, look, done a fantastic job already. I mean, even just like — JB will be able to say — like the people that we’re talking to and getting a lot of information to do it properly, and I’m there going personally going “in six to eight weeks”, ‘cause the trigger’s going to hit in 10 weeks for a lot of them, so we need to contract (Two players’ names REDACTED), all these blokes — we need to contract them in the next 10 weeks and extend their deals so that next year’s deal is not the trigger deal, the accelerator. (Player’s name REDACTED), for instance. You know, he’s going to be on the cap at $260-$270K he’ll be on the cap next year, in about four weeks’ time. We might be too late on him, but we’re trying to. a lot of very good work but it’s very hard to set up fast, ‘cause you can’t do it wrong. It’s got to be sustainable.

SEWARD: And that’s everything that we’re trying to make sure — the key that we’ve done with setting up the TPA program and the Premiership Club, it actually is regardless of any of us …

SHARP: Doesn’t help when the previous people arrange it and then don’t pay.

ISSA: I don’t know how TPAs work without a relationship, and I beg to differ with anybody who tells me differently, but 9 times out of 10 all TPAs work by association of somebody.

SEWARD: You’re right, I’m not saying you’re wrong, but what it is that it needs to be built in that the business still has to be getting some form of benefits as well, and the problem is all of our TPAs have been mates giving a player cash to help someone out. And then when the player doesn’t turn up and do anything because he doesn’t think he’s entitled to, Jack Iori, is a prime example.

SEWARD: Three years the player doesn’t turn up. We make sure the players are responsible so yes there’s got to be the relationship, but there’s also got to be the outcome as well. And if there’s no outcome and we don’t service these guys properly then walk away. You know, Ray Itouli … I can’t remember … Itouli from Sanity was the same thing. We got him back this year but he walked away because he didn’t get his corporate hospitality and he didn’t get his carpark and that was $50,000.

UNKNOWN: So who’s been designated to look after TPAs?

SEWARD: John.

UNKNOWN: So you’re the contact, John?

BOULOUS: Yeah, for …

SEWARD: Then we’ve got, when we set up the Club properly which is at, you know, pure arm’s length. There’s transactions between the business and the Club and there’s transactions between the Club and the players and player managers. That’s, that in effect is our “Slush Fund”, for want of a better word. The proper TPAs we’ve actually got an outsource company going out and selling Player’s marketable images which is actually what they want, there’s two separate things, you know. That’s a marketing opportunity and a brand for a Player, that when we need to tap into $50,000 or $100,000.

UNKNOWN: Yep. So are we using that consulting company you were talking about?

SEWARD: Yeah, John met with another guy the other week, so there’s … we’re also not going to limit — there doesn’t have to be a limit on one, you can actually do it, cut — you know Pierce (unclear) are doing it for us, and we’ve got some work going on in events — there’s plenty of people who can do it, we don’t have to limit it to one company, so … it’s coming.

ANDERSON: But it will have to come in a month and it’s really significant, very encouraging, in a month. But the reality of it is, and I agree with Brad, I want to set up a good team, but if we keep (player’s name REDACTED), I’ve had (player’s name REDACTED) thrown at me from Penrith, he’s the big beast who can put the damage on, and if we keep (player’s name REDACTED) it’s very difficult for us to get (player’s name REDACTED) because no one will buy (player’s name REDACTED) at all, so we don’t get to use him and we’ll have to pay a slab of next year.

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 25 June 2015

BOULOUS: I just wanted to discuss one implication of the Tracy (McKelligott, a PR professional) deal which is, many may know and I’ve only just found out myself. She’s got an agreement with Scott (Seward), for four years that she’s a third party sponsor of (player’s name REDACTED). That has been signed off on by the club.

ANDERSON: Is that what she is getting $150K for?

BOULOUS: No, this is going to be in addition to $150K.

ANDREW CORDWELL (CURRENT BOARD MEMBER): Sorry, say that again.

TANYA GADIEL (CURRENT BOARD MEMBER): She gets paid $150,000 but what does she do, she pays something back.

BOULOUS: She gets paid the $150K, $50K for (INAUDIBLE) and that’s OK, that fills that $50 grand that we had budgeted for marketing co-ordinator, she gets $100K, basically, a $8.5K per month to undertake strategy and marketing brand approval. She’s in the office 1-2 days a week and she’s on call the rest of the time based in Newcastle.

GADIEL: Who does she work with, predominantly?

BOULOUS: Predominantly with Josh (Drayton), and Scott (Seward). Used to be in between them. Basically she does the marketing stuff with Josh, and Scott, she always used to say she was doing strategic projects with Scott. I never knew what they worked on.

CORDWELL: So what you’re saying is she does a third-party agreement.

BOULOUS: Yes.

BOULOUS: That’s $50K a year for four years. She came to me, Monday morning, when I returned from Melbourne and said I’ve got a paper here of the correspondence from Scott which has text messages in it, which has a lot of information and then her correspondence with (agent’s name REDACTED) to execute the deal.

SHARP: Why (agent’s name REDACTED)?

ALL: Because he’s (player’s name REDACTED) agent.

BOULOUS: So basically, Scott provided a letter to (agent’s name REDACTED), introducing Tracy, of which they did the deal.

ISSA: So have they done the deal?

BOULOUS: Yes.

BOULOUS: So Tracy came straight in on Monday morning saying I’m exposed, because I was planning on getting this money through the organisation. Scott had the intention of paying.

ANDERSON: But was he going to give it to her extra than the $150, that’s the question.

CORDWELL: So he was going to give her $200 and $50 …

SHARP: So she was going to increase her charges to us. so we are paying the third party deal.

BOULOUS: And it’s done through a company PJ Promotions.

GADIEL: Sorry, that’s the f-word, that’s fraud isn’t it. That is fraud.

SHARP: It’s not fraud.

GADIEL: What do you reckon?

CORDWELL: It’s certainly fudging the figures, all right … where going out there … it’s a variation of how people breach the cap.

SHARP: It’s not an unknown practice in rugby league clubs to do that. But it’s something we would want to shy away from.

GADIEL: This is exactly what I mean if the NRL want to do something bloody useful, they need to get off their arses and get into this stuff.

BOULOUS: So the challenge is …

GADIEL: Do you want me to do another press release? (Laughter)

CORDWELL: I assume there are a number of these sorts of deals.

BOULOUS: Yeah there are a few to come yet. The challenges are do you turn around and get rid of her straight away and what happens to the deal? I assume she hasn’t got the money to pay, she’s exposed.

ISSA: How is she exposed?

GADIEL: Because she’s got a contract that says she’s got to pay $200K a year.

ISSA: Do we know … and Daniel will know this one … do we know that it is registered with the NRL?

(INAUDIBLE)

BOULOUS: So what I’m asking for is, if we go back and say, no I know you’ve said you’ve seen some paper tail, but I need to see from the NRL, is there a legitimate third party agreement between PJ Promotions and the NRL. That’s our first question.

ANDERSON: I do think we are exposing ourselves if there isn’t one.

BOULOUS: If there isn’t one.

SERRAO: We don’t identify that one. Could you provide us with a list of all the third party agreements.

ALL: Yep OK, good.

CORDWELL: If we can have that for our meeting this afternoon then the NRL can give us that. I think it’s pretty simple.

GADIEL: And they’re of course going to ask us why we don’t have that.

CORDWELL: We’re just asking for the third parties to make sure because we’ve lost our CEO.

SHARP: If the third party deals are supposed to work. We’re an introduction agency and that’s it. We step away from it then and there. It’s not our responsibility, it’s best interests whether they work out to $40K or $50K or whatever and registered with the NRL.

BOULOUS: So what you’re saying is we’re just making sure we’ve got all the information there as Scott’s left.

ISSA: Once we’ve got that then I think we can reassess Tracy’s position. I still think that we are going to have to deal with it, we can’t turn and do anything but expose her if that’s what it is.

SHARP: If not registered we can replace the third party deal with another one.

ISSA: Correct, yes and that’s what we’re hoping for. So if it’s not registered, then we look to find a legitimate third party deal for (player’s name REDACTED) where he will get his $50K or best endeavours. Now, have we got the correspondence for (player’s name REDACTED) third parties? Do we know what the third party total value is?

BOULOUS: I believe it to be $200K a year for (player’s name REDACTED) third party, that’s based on a discussion with (agent’s name REDACTED) on Friday, he didn’t mention this one, but I’ve seen the paper work and correspondence between them, I know there’s $75K through Black Citrus, and he also mentioned, I don’t know if he ended up speaking to you given the week I said speak to Daniel, about E-Group Security. He said I believe it’s with E-Group Security and it’s for about $65-70K he was going off memory. He had to think about it which probably explains the E-Group invoice.

ISSA: So if you talk about fraud, you talk about deception or we can talk about immoral conduct or whatever it is, when we sat down and discussed individual agreements for individual players, (player’s name REDACTED) to our level has always clearly known there is a $75K third party agreement. How it’s become $200K is beyond me. And as I’ve got documentation from meetings with Scott where we went through and said ‘mate, where are we exposed, who do we need to get to, how do we get legitimate third party agreements and never ever once was there a conversation, and no doubt you two gentlemen were sat in the same.

ANDERSON: We’ve had a dozen meetings and never knew about the deal with …

GADIEL: Yeah, that’s the other thing we’ve got to be careful of, who tries it on? The player managers … everything.

ISSA: Two years ago everyone came in and hit me and Steve up, and Daniel, when Ricky Stuart left and we took over from Roy. The severity of those were so minimal compared to this that it’s absurd. We had people telling us that we owed blokes like (player’s name REDACTED) or (player’s name REDACTED) or whoever it was $10K or $20K or $30K. Minimal where we could turn around to them and say to a legitimate business do you want the IP address of this player and if you do, it’s going to cost you $30K and we’re going to do a registered TPA. And blokes turned around and said yep I’ve got a business, I’d love this kid to come to my kid’s birthday party, I’d love this guy to do dinner with us, I’ll register a third party, here’s 25K (player’s name REDACTED) you’re done, (player’s name REDACTED) you’re done. How Scott’s done $200K plus a four year deal is beyond belief. But it’s just astonishing and I just don’t know what, how we get out of it, and do (player’s name REDACTED) at $150. They came out in the papers yesterday and said Will Hopoate is owed $150,000 or whatever it is. There was fraudulent conduct conducted previously that we said no to. We said no to Eddie Obeid Junior, we said no to all the ones that were in that dirty laundry where you just turned around and said no. What possessed him to go behind our backs and do it …

GADIEL: Maybe it had something to do with his mentor.

CORDWELL: Can we turn off the recorder? Can we just turn it off? Is that possible? I just want to speak openly. Can you turn it off and suspend the meeting or something?

SHARP: It’s off mate.

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 26 August 2015

GEOFF GERRARD (CURRENT BOARD MEMBER): This was set up to get the high end of town in here, to tap them on the shoulder about third parties, you mentioned last time, Tom (Issa), that we may get one or two. Have we got any?

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 17 September 2015

SERRAO: Can I ask in point 1.5, is there much been happening with Rob Mulherin, and looking into a few things there? Especially he said he was going to look at Irvy’s (Jason Irvine, former Eels football manager) phone.

SHARP: Yeah I’ve done a bit of chase up on that mate to try and find out. I’ve spoken with Bevan (Paul, Parramatta Leagues club CEO) and with (club lawyer, John) de Mestre and that sort of stuff. Their recommendation is that we probably not proceed with digging up too many skeletons and all that sort of stuff, on some of the stuff we were looking at, and the view is just let sleeping dogs lie and we keep moving on.

GADIEL: There’s got to be a point of this where we draw a line in the sand you know.

SHARP: Yes and it’s time now where we move forward and focus on our actions and view what we’ve done right and wrong and move forward and forget about the past.

GADIEL: Yep ….

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 17 SEPTEMBER 2015

PAUL GARRARD (CURRENT BOARD MEMBER): I don’t why we are not doing the other thing that we spoke about because we had a discussion in Darwin about it and everyone was committed to doing it and now you are telling me you’re not doing it.

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