“The accused man did not have the authority to act on behalf of the then-Department of Housing, nor did he submit any proposals or claims direct to the agency.

“The man had previously been engaged by the agency to work on infrastructure works in the region, including in the Warmun Community, and it is believed he used his existing relationship with the council to negotiate the terms of the fraudulent work claims.”

Police will allege that between October 2013 and May 2014, the Warmun Community Council paid 15 invoices worth $2.9 million into the personal bank account of Mr Dale, which he used for gambling and personal expenses, rather than a trust account.

Mr Dale did not enter a plea at his appearance in the Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday and has been remanded in custody to January 15 as he seeks legal advice.

The Department of Housing was amalgamated into the Department of Communities with the change of government in 2017.

Mr Dale was charged in May by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for one count of dishonestly using his position as a director of Stellar Corporate Solutions Pty Ltd and seven counts of conducting transactions to avoid reporting requirements.

ASIC has alleged Mr Dale, a former sole director, redirected $998,201.98 from Stellar to his personal bank account.

He has pleaded not guilty to the ASIC charges.

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