Bikie taskforce Echo raid Seabrook home in Melbourne’s west


 an hour ago

Bikie taskforce Echo police are currently executing warrants on a home in Melbourne’s west. Picture: Nicole Garmston

A SENIOR Mongol bikie has been arrested and a 3D printer seized during a raid in Melbourne’s west this morning.

Echo Taskforce detectives arrested two men and a woman, all with links to the Mongols OMCG, after raids in Seabrook and Oakleigh South earlier today.

A man arrested at the Seabrook property. Picture: Nicole Garmston

A woman is arrested during raids at the property. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Homes in Mintaro Way in Seabrook and Fleming Court in Oakleigh South were raided at 6am.

Ammunition, 3D printers, equipment for manufacturing firearms and a small amount of drugs were seized from the Seabrook property.

A 26-year-old Seabrook man and a 27-year-old Seabrook woman were arrested.

An allegedly stolen motorbike was seized from the Oakleigh South property and a 29-year-old man was arrested.

Middleton was bailed last month after he was arrested for drug and violence offences.

He was released with conditions a magistrate described as the “strictest she’s ever set”.

The 26-year-old’s partner Renee Comeadow was also arrested.

Evidence gathered in relation to bikies. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Police leave the scene with evidence. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Middleton was granted bail last month by magistrate Margaret Harding, who said he needed to be reunited with his family after five months on remand.

Ms Harding had wanted Middleton to hand in his bikie colours as a condition of bail, but backed away after she was told other bikies could threaten Middleton’s family because that was a “sign of disrespect”.

Police seized his Mongols vest this morning.

A police officer carrying a Mongols jacket leaves the scene. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Visitor outside the property. (black top)  Picture: Nicole Garmston

Middleton had told the magistrate he would not wear the club’s colours while on bail.

Other conditions included a $300,000 surety, daily reporting to police, a strict curfew, non association with witnesses and bikies.

Middleton, a father of a two-year-old, also promised to stay out of parts of Port Melbourne and Werribee as a condition of release.

Middleton and his partner Comeadow turned up at Sunshine Hospital at 8.15pm on November 1 last year after the OMCG member was shot in the knee.

Police arrived and searched Comeadow’s car where they allegedly found around 500 grams worth of ecstasy, a rubber gun grip and 4.2mm ammunition cartridges.

Middleton was charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of ecstasy and possession of ammunition.

Detective Senior Constable Andrew Broad, a member of the Echo Taskforce, told Melbourne Magistrates’ Court at the time that a search carried out at the couple’s home in Seabrook also resulted in officers finding a gun and a “substantial” amount of drugs.

Comeadow was charged with possessing a commercial quantity of ecstasy and storing ammunition after police searched her car at the hospital.

The search of the couple’s home allegedly uncovered a handgun and more drugs, the court heard.

Defence lawyer Sarah Pratt, representing Comeadow last year, said: “There is no allegation Ms Comeadow is in an OMCG.”

Police spokeswoman Melissa Seach said: “The warrant is part of an ongoing Echo Taskforce investigation in relation to perverting the course of justice.”

david.hurley@news.com.au

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Police Raids seize more than $1.5 million worth of prohibited drugs in Central Coast


Police raids net $1.5m in drugs across the Coast

May 26, 2016 12:54pm

 

MORE than $1.5 million worth of drugs has been seized including 30,000 ecstasy pills and 1.5 tonnes of precursor chemicals following a string of raids across the Central Coast and Sydney yesterday afternoon.

Four men — including one linked to the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang — will appear in court this morning while a woman, 34, of Woy Woy was granted conditional bail to appear at Gosford Local Court on June 21.

The sting, one of the biggest in recent memory on the Coast, recovered so much drugs and other contraband police ran out of evidence bags.


Police search a car opposite Point Clare train station on the Central Coast. Picture: NSW Police

Brisbane Water police established Strike Force Bamberry in December 2015 to investigate the manufacture and distribution of prohibited drugs across the Coast.

After ongoing investigations detectives yesterday conducted a number of searches on the Coast as well as properties in western Sydney and the North Shore where they seized a large quantity of prohibited drugs with an estimated potential street value of more than $1.5 million.

A storage unit on Bourke Rd at Waterloo was also searched with police locating 1.5 tonnes of precursor chemicals police believed was destined to be used in the large-scale manufacture of drugs.


the woman is escorted into the police station.

A woman arrested by Strike Force Bamberry

Brisbane Water police were assisted by other northern region general duties officers, along with the Tactical Operations Unit, Operations Support Group, Dog Unit, PolAir and Gordon Region Enforcement Squad.

The series of orchestrated raids began at 11am with a vehicle stop at Kariong where detectives arrested a 26-year-old who police will allege was a senior figure in the wholesale drugs supply on the Woy Woy Peninsula.

During a subsequent search of the vehicle, police located amounts of MDMA, MDA and cocaine — all of which was seized for further forensic examination.


One of the arrested men arrives at the police station.

One of the men arrested is taken in for questioning.

The man was later charged with seven offences including supplying large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs, supplying indictable quantity of prohibited drugs and knowingly participate in a criminal group.

Two 20-year-old men, both of Umina Beach, were arrested a short time later with one charged with eight offences including supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drug and participating in a criminal group.

The other man was charged with a total of 19 offences including supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and knowingly participate in a criminal group.


A third man is arrested.

A second man is arrested.

The men were all refused bail to appear before Gosford Local Court today.

Following the arrests, police executed 11 search warrants across the state’s Central Coast — including properties at Umina, Woy Woy, Horsfield Bay and Ettalong — as well as a number of Sydney properties at St Ives, Stanhope Gardens, Hornsby and St Clair.

They also conducted a search at a home in Pickett’s Valley, on the state’s Central Coast — in accordance with a Firearms Prohibition Order.

While executing the warrants, police located and seized amounts of MDMA, MDA, GHB, cocaine, cannabis, methylamphetamine or ‘ice’ and steroids — with a combined estimated potential street value of more than $1.5 million.

A number of further items were seized from the properties, including two vehicles and an extendable baton, which will undergo forensic examination.


Thousands of dollars in cash was also seized in Strike Force Bamberry. Picture: supplied.

Strike Force detectives also identified a storage unit on Bourke Road, Waterloo, during the operation where they executed another search warrant.

Officers will also allege they located Mongols OMCG jackets — during the Stanhope Gardens search warrant — that were stashed with some of the $125,000 in cash seized across the raids.

Another man, 21, of Umina Beach, was charged with 18 offences and is due to face Hornsby Local Court today.

A 34-year-old woman, of Woy Woy, was charged with five counts of supplying an indictable quantity of prohibited drug but was granted conditional bail to appear at Gosford Local Court on June 21.

Brisbane Water Superintendent Daniel Sullivan said the operation targeted alleged offenders who thought they were “untouchable”.

“Once we get information that you’re dealing drugs in our community we will be relentless, we will hunt you down and we will bring you before the court,” he said.


Some of the drugs seized. Picture: NSW Police

“Strike Force Bamberry detectives have been working incredibly hard for six months, all of which has culminated in yesterday’s search warrants and numerous arrests.

“It’s clear that those arrested during the operation were members of an elaborate syndicate that had been operating across the Central Coast peninsula for some time.”

Supt Sullivan also urged people to never underestimate the impact one anonymous call to Crime Stoppers could make.”

“Many people say, yeah, you’ve seized a large quantity of drugs, so what,” he said.

“Let’s think about this, there’s 7kg of MDMA equating to neary 30,000 pills, we all see the damage that these pills do particularly at dance concerts and on the weekends in our emergency hospitals across the state.

“That’s 30,000 kids that don’t have to play that game of Russian roulette with this poisonous substance that we’ve taken off our streets.”

Sources close to the strike force said those arrested allegedly represented the “top of the pyramid” with the blitz striking fear into a lot of “bottom feeder” dealers on the Peninsula.

“There will be a lot of drugs flushed into the sewerage system today,” one senior officer said.

Strike Force detectives are continuing their investigations.


Some of the seized cash.

The raids follow two searches at Morisset on Tuesday morning in which police seized 31 mature cannabis plants, 42 cannabis clones, 27 hydroponic lights and transformers, numerous carbon filters and fans, as well as an amount of cannabis leaf.

Police entered the two units at 9.20am on Kalaf Ave where they located three large and sophisticated hydroponic tents.

Each of the tents contained cannabis plants, lights, fans, transformers and ventilation ducting.

Police arrested a 39-year-old leaseholder at the location.

He was taken to Belmont police station where he was charged with possess prohibited drug, cultivate prohibited plant and alter or add to electricity installation for metering.

He was granted conditional bail to appear at Toronto Local Court on June 8.


 

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.

Former WA minister Gordon Hill defrauded Firepower investors of $3.4m


Former WA minister Gordon Hill defrauded Firepower investors of $3.4m, court finds

10.32pm 21/04/16

A former West Australian police minister defrauded about 80 investors of $3.4 million, which was meant to be spent on shares in the failed fuel technology company Firepower, the WA Supreme Court has found.

Gordon Leslie Hill, 65, a former Firepower director and minister in the Burke, Dowding and Lawrence State Labor governments, was ordered by Justice Andrew Beech earlier this month to repay the group of investors.

The civil action against Hill, 65, is the group’s first small victory in their long-running bid to recoup the money they paid for shares which they never received.

They are among many investors who lost money in the company, which claimed to have developed a magic petrol pill that improved fuel economy and reduced emissions from motor vehicles.

Firepower collapsed in 2007, taking $100 million in investors’ money.

The group of investors made deposits ranging from $2,000 to $200,000 between December 2004 and June 2005 into a trust used by Hill, who was then working as a solicitor, to buy shares in a Firepower company registered in the Cayman Islands.

But they never received their shares because Hill transferred their funds into companies that benefited himself as well as Firepower boss Tim Johnston, who had requested the money.

This included payments to companies called Green Triton, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, and Operations Firepower, which was registered in WA.

Hill ‘recklessly indifferent to obligations’: judge

Justice Beech said an email from Hill to Mr Johnston showed that he “was acutely conscious” he was not supposed to use the money in the trust, and “deliberately turned a blind eye to the obligations that he knew he had as a trustee”.

“It is a real problem for me sending funds from the Trust account in this way … Legally the money is not meant to be used until the shares are issued,” the March 2005 email said.

Hill denied he acted fraudulently, with his lawyer arguing he intended for investors to receive shares in a different Firepower company, registered in the British Virgin Islands.

But Justice Beech disagreed, saying “at best Hill was recklessly indifferent to his obligations”.

“He consciously put those obligations to one side when complying with Mr Johnston’s instructions and making the Trust Payments, thereby benefiting some or all of Green Triton, Operations Firepower, Mr Johnston and himself,” Justice Beech said.

The legal bid by the investors’ group first started two years after the company collapsed, but was interrupted by other legal battles as well as Hill going into bankruptcy between 2010 and 2013.

Investors seek to recoup money

The group’s lawyer, Stephen Penrose, said the next step would involve a means inquiry to determine how Hill would pay the investors.

If he cannot pay, they will look to recoup money from the Legal Contribution Trust, a fund established to compensate clients of solicitors who misappropriate trust funds.

Mr Penrose said the investors – as well as another group owed $1 million by Mr Hill but who were not part of the Supreme Court action – needed Hill to be found to have acted fraudulently to apply to the fund.

But he was not confident they would receive the full amount of money they were owed, including interest.

While some of the investors were wealthy, many were just average people.

“They are just normal people, mums and dads. That’s the shame – they were normal people who put in money,” he said.

Hill’s lawyer has been contacted for comment.

Topics: courts-and-trials, fraud-and-corporate-crime, perth-6000, wa, cayman-islands, virgin-islands-british


 Firepower founder will not face charges over company collapse

Updated 26 Sep 2014, 4:52pm

The corporate regulator has announced there will be no further penalties against executives from the collapsed fuel additives business Firepower.

It is six years since Firepower collapsed, leaving investors who had poured $100 million into the company with nothing to show for it.

The business had spent liberally on sporting sponsorships and celebrity connections to promote its fuel additives, which were subsequently discredited.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) was successful three years ago in banning Firepower chairman Tim Johnston from managing another company for 20 years, while another executive was banned for six years.

The regulator says it has now finalised its investigation into possible criminal charges.

ASIC says the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has reviewed its brief of evidence and decided there is not a reasonable prospect of securing a conviction against Mr Johnston or anyone else linked to the company.


Lack of money ends Firepower investigation

Updated 21 May 2012, 9:48am

Firepower’s liquidator believes the former head of the fuel technology company, Tim Johnston, could have stashed millions of dollars offshore.

The liquidator Bryan Hughes has also confirmed that an investigation into the collapsed company is closed because investigators can no longer afford to bankroll it.

He says creditors are unwilling to put more money into it.

Firepower collapsed in 2008 with debts of at least $100 million owed to more than 1200 investors.

Mr Johnston was declared bankrupt last year.

Mr Hughes says trying to find out exactly where the money is, is not worth the cost of continuing.

“I believe there is some money offshore, we can prove it in a commercial sense,” he said.

“It’s very difficult to prove it to the requirements required by law to substantiate it but the trouble is we can track it so far.”

Worrell is the forensic accountancy firm that was doing the investigating but Mr Hughes says they cannot continue doing so any longer.

“They have no further funds,” he Mr said.

“They’ve approached all creditors, including myself, as to whether we have any funds to contribute to their investigations into his [Mr Johnston’s] bankruptcy and his personal estate.

“We don’t and obviously other creditors are disinclined to contribute funds.”

Mr Hughes says this effectively ends the chances of private investors recouping money from Mr Johnston.

“It’s in third parties, it’s in offshore jurisdictions, it’s in other companies,” he said.

“And, until somebody can find exactly where it all is and how that sheets home to Mr Johnston, it wouldn’t be worth the cost of doing it.”

Mr Hughes says the difficulty of investigating the collapsed company highlights flaws in Australia’s business framework


ASIC bans Firepower boss for 20 years

Updated 21 Jul 2011, 5:10pm

The Federal Court in Perth has banned the founder of the discredited fuel pill technology company Firepower from managing companies for 20 years.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) brought action against former Firepower chairman Tim Johnston after the company collapsed in 2008, leaving investors more than $100 million out of pocket.

Justice John Gilmour said Mr Johnston should be excluded for a very long period of time from having access to or control over shareholders’ investments.

He said it was the kind of conduct which diminishes investor and public confidence in the commercial markets.

Mr Johnston’s investment manager Quentin Ward has been banned from managing a company for six years.

Mr Johnston did not turn up in court today to hear the decision


 

7-Eleven operators given $150,000 fine for underpaying workers-But what will they get?


Melbourne 7-Eleven operators given $150,000 fine for underpaying workers, court hears

4.19pm 21/04/16

The former owner-operators of a Melbourne 7-Eleven store have agreed to pay a $150,000 fine for underpaying 12 “vulnerable” workers, a court has heard.

A Federal Circuit Court hearing has been told husband and wife Haiyao Xu and Yiran Gu have repaid employees of their former Parkville store $84,000 in wages they were owed.

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) took legal action against the couple after an audit revealed they paid their staff as little as $12 an hour in the year to September 2014.

The amount is well below the minimum casual wage of more than $22 an hour, and as much as $46 an hour for overnight and weekend shifts.

FWO lawyer Fiona Knowles told the court 11 of the 12 employees were on visas and had recently arrived in Australia.

“Those employees worked all hours of the day and night … but they did not receive the minimum wage, let alone any additional penalties,” she said.

The court was told the couple also manipulated the 7-Eleven pay roll system by entering that employees had worked fewer hours than they actually had in order to pay them less.

During the time they were underpaying staff, the couple bought another 7-Eleven store on Spencer Street in the CBD. An audit has revealed staff at that store were owed $106,000.

Couple apologised to underpaid staff, court told

Ms Knowles said the couple had made full admissions and cooperated with the FWO’s investigation fully.

They had also sent letters of apology to the employees who had been underpaid.

Defence lawyer Matthew Minuchi said at the time of the offending, 7-Eleven’s head office was taking 57 per cent of its franchisees gross profits.

“The profit of the store of $27,000 for that year was not enough to cover the underpayments,” he said.

Mr Minuchi told the court 7-Eleven had since changed their franchise agreement to allow for the appropriate payment of employees.

The couple and the FWO have agreed on the $150,000 fine but a Federal Circuit Court judge is yet to agree to the penalty.


 

Richie Callendar on ‘Racings dirty little secret’


Richard Callander is facing a charge by Racing NSW stewards
Jockey Glyn Schofield, media personality Richard Callander and Chris Waller’s racing manager Liam Prior have all been charged over the sale of Lil Caesar to Hong Kong.

Racing NSW stewards issued the charges on Friday after the trio attended an inquiry earlier this week.

Schofield is charged under Australian Rule of Racing 85C with having been involved in the negotiating of the sale of the racehorse Lil Caesar to Hong Kong interests.

As a licensed jockey, Schofield is not permitted to be involved in the buying, selling, trading or leasing of thoroughbred bloodstock.

Both Callander and Prior have been charged under AR175(a) with dishonest and/or fraudulent actions in connection with the disbursement of $60,000 of the sale proceeds of $200,000 from the sale.

The inquiry heard on Monday that Prior had allegedly received $24,000 from the sale, Schofield $10,000 as well as another $10,000 in commission from Hong Kong trainer Danny Shum and Callander, who had a 5 per cent share in the horse, over $30,000.

Callander had transferred $129,405.20 from the $200,000 sale to the Waller racing account to be paid to the other owners in the horse.

Earlier this month Schofield was charged by Racing Victoria stewards over the sale of the Brent Stanley-trained Equita to Hong Kong.

It has been alleged that Schofield received $290,000 from the buyer, retaining $20,000 with Stanley collecting $70,000 while the other owners were advised the horse had been sold for $200,000.

‘Racing’s dirty little secret’ revealed during inquiry into Hong Kong horse sale

February 22, 2016 – 10:57PM

Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald

Richard Callander. Photo: Getty Images

Richard Callander labelled it “racing’s dirty little secret”, the world of secret commissions and kickbacks in selling horses as he, Chris Waller‘s racing manager Liam Prior and jockey Glyn Schofield faced stewards on Monday about the sale of Lil Caesar in November 2014.

The difference between the invoice price of $200,000 on October 28 and the $140,000 the owners were told and paid in November 2014 was centre of the inquiry.

Callander told stewards he had been in racing his whole life and there are “backhands” and “commissions” paid in nearly every horse sale. “It happens every single day in racing in every sale,” he said.

It was agreed Callander invoiced Hong Kong trainer Danny Shum for $200,000 via Schofield for the horse, which Waller thought had limited ability. It has since won four races in Hong Kong. On October 28, Waller emailed Callander and Prior at 9.13am asking what price they had got for Lil Caesar. Callander said he did not reply because he did not know at that point. However, at 11.22am he emailed Schofield an invoice for $200,000, which was forwarded to Shum.

Callander said he was “protecting” the owners and trying to act in their best interests to keep them from having a bad experience in racing. He believed the price was $140,000, even though he invoiced for $200,000 he wasn’t expecting to get that much.  “I have grown up in racing and 200G doesn’t mean you are getting 200G,” Callander said. He was surprised when Schofield transferred $200,000 into his account on November 12, 2014.

The next day Schofield went to Callander’s house and was paid $10,000 in cash for “an amazing job” to get so much for the horse.

The jockey also admitted he received a $10,000 commission from Shum, 5 per cent of the deal, which had been paid to Schofield’s account along with the $200,000.

Callander was the managing owner and had 5 per cent of Lil Caesar. Once the horse was sold he moved $129,405.20 for 95 per cent of the horse into the Waller racing account, which was paid to the owners. “I made one error of judgement in not contacting the owners [at the time] and telling them we had got the bigger amount and asking how they would want the [extra] money dispensed,” Callander said. “I have contacted them all now [personally] and they have all been paid [their share of the extra $50,000].”

On top of the $10,000 given to Schofield, there was the missing $50,000 that it appears was split between Callander and Prior. Callander paid Prior $24,000 in five separate deposits. Prior admitted his actions appeared to be deceitful and dishonest. He had told the owners there was an offer of $130,000 that was negotiated up to $140,000. The inquiry was adjourned until a day to be fixed.


Inquiry over sale of horse to Hong Kong

Richard Callander fronted a stewards inquiry on Monday Richard Callander fronted a stewards inquiry on Monday Image: Getty

Racing media identity Richard Callander has admitted he kept a commission from the sale of a horse to Hong Kong but says money has since been paid to the other owners.

Callander, a presenter for former racing telecaster TVN, trainer Chris Waller’s racing manager Liam Prior and jockey Glyn Schofield appeared before Racing NSW stewards on Monday over the sale of Lil Caesar for an alleged $200,000, not $140,000 as the ownership group was told.

A part-owner of the horse, Callander transferred $129,405.20, $140,000 less his five per cent, into Waller Racing to be distributed among the other owners.

Prior told the inquiry he was paid $24,000 while Schofield received a $10,000 commission from trainer Danny Shum and another $10,000 with Callander receiving the rest.

The deal came to light when Racing Victoria stewards questioned Schofield over the sale of another unraced horse, Equita, previously trained by Brent Stanley.

Schofield arranged the sale of the colt to the Shum stable with the original owners told the price was $200,000.

RV stewards have charged both Stanley and Schofield over the sale with the jockey alleged to have received $20,000 and the trainer $70,000 from the sale of the colt for $290,000.

Schofield has told stewards in both states he was unaware of the ruled banning jockeys from involvement in such sales.

Both horses were unraced in Australia but have since gone on to win races in Hong Kong with Lil Caesar racing as Lucky Year and Equita as Dancing Flames.

No charges have yet been laid by stewards in NSW while a date for the Victorian inquiry is still to be set.


Stewards hear secret commission retained

BY Adrian Dunn – @adriandunn2
1 day ago Horse Racing

G1X presenter and reporter Richard Callander today told a Racing New South Wales Stewards inquiry it was never his intention to deceive the part-owners of Lil Caesar in the sale of the horse to Hong Kong, a sale managed by Callander.

Callander, Liam Prior, the racing manager for Chris Waller, and jockey Glyn Schofield have been called to assist stewards in the inquiry of the sale of Lil Caesar in October 2014.

Callander, the managing part-owner of Lil Caesar, and with a five per cent share in the horse, told the inquiry he was expecting to receive between $130,000 to $140,000 for the unraced Chris Waller-trained horse, not the $200,000 that was subsequently paid by Hong Kong trainer Danny Shum.

He said all the owners were happy to sell the horse for $140,000 as the belief was it had limited ability.

Callander, who has voluntarily stood down from G1X pending the outcome of the inquiry, said the “one mistake” he made was not contacting the owners when the $200,000 was paid – what he called a “windfall” – and to ask them if they were happy for him and Prior to retain the difference as their “commission” on the sale.

Callander said he made four payments of $5,000 and one payment of $4,000 to Prior in late 2014, a total of $24,000.

He told the stewards that commissions happened in racing transactions every day – from yearling sales to the sale of tried horses – within Australia and to Asia. He said “many, many trainers and jockeys” would now be questioned over the sale of horses. He described it as “racing’s dark little secret”.

Asked by Racing NSW chairman of stewards Ray Murrihy if his actions were “clearly deceitful and dishonest”, Callander replied: “I challenge your wording. I have dedicated my life to helping others. There was no intent to be deceitful, none at all.

“I have never done anything deceitful. That sits very harshly with me.”

Callander told Stewards he had subsequently spoken with and paid all the other 19 part-owners of the horse their share of the money that he and Prior had received.

The Racing NSW Stewards inquiry heard that Schofield received from Callander $10,000 as commission for his role in the sale. Schofield revealed he had also received a similar commission from the Hong Kong buyers.

Schofield told the inquiry that Callander gave the money as a gratuity for his role in the sale; Callander said Schofield asked for the money.

Schofield told the inquiry that he had a conversation at Warwick Farm races on October 15 (2014) with Callander about the possible sale of Lil Caesar to Hong Kong.

Callander denied the conversation took place at Warwick Farm. Schofield said, “I asked what price and he (Callander) was a bit vague.”

Schofield said he had also spoken with Prior about making inquiries with contacts he had in Hong Kong, including Shum, and later forwarded Shum a video clip and veterinary details about the horse. “I received a reply that he was quite keen and interested in the horse,” Schofield said.

He said he emailed Shum that the horse could be purchased for $200,000 and he (Schofield) would leave his commission to Shum. Schofield said he was later told by Shum that the Hong Kong buyers had agreed to give him five per cent commission – $10,000.

Schofield said Shum emailed him on October 28, 2014 requesting an invoice for the horse and he forwarded that request to Callander. He said on November 10 he received a bank transfer from Shum of $210,000, which included his $10,000 Hong Kong commission.

Two days later, Schofield said he transferred $200,000 to Callander’s bank account.

The inquiry heard that Waller sent an email to Callander and Prior at 9.13 am on October 28, 2014 asking what price Lil Caesar had been sold for.

Two hours later Callander sent Schofield an invoice, via email, for $200,000, which the jockey then forwarded to Shum.

Asked by Murrihy if he (Schofield) realised he had breached Rule 85 (c), which deals with a jockey not being allowed to be involved in the sale or the proceeds of any thoroughbred sold, Schofield said he did not know the rule existed. Schofield was charged earlier this year by Racing Victoria stewards for his part in the sale of the horse Equita to Hong Kong.

Prior told the inquiry he thought the sale of Lil Caesar would realise $140,000 and relayed that information to all the owners of October 28, 2014. Prior said he had received emails from part-owners Ben Weiss and Steve Sandor about the sale of the horse several times in the period following the sale asking for documentation.

The latest email exchange was on February 5 this year.

“I said the horse was moved on in good faith,” Prior said. “I meant that about selling the horse.”

Lil Caesar, who now races as Lucky Year in Hong Kong, has won four of seven starts for Shum, with earnings of $HK3.9 million ($AU700,000).

The inquiry was adjourned until a date to be fixed.


Callander stands down

BY Adrian Dunn – @adriandunn2
5 days ago Horse Racing

ADRIAN DUNN reports @adriandunn2

G1X journalist and presenter Richard Callander has voluntarily stood down from his G1X duties pending a Racing NSW inquiry into the sale of the racehorse Lil Caesar.

Callander was a part-owner of the unraced Lil Caesar when it was sold to Hong Kong interests last year.

Racing NSW chairman Ray Murrihy said the inquiry would continue at the Racing NSW offices in Sydney at 2pm on Monday.

Callander has been summoned to appear before stewards concerning “matters pertaining to the sale, in October 2014, to Hong Kong interests, of the racehorse Lil Caesar (now registered as Lucky Year).”

G1X CEO Simon Mackay said Callander’s offer to stand down has been accepted in the best interests of Callander and G1X.

“Without pre-empting the outcome of the the inquiry, G1X is a transparent organisation whose values are based on the highest standards of trust and integrity,” Mackay said.

“Richie has been a wonderful employee and ambassador of and for G1X, and it was he who volunteered taking a break from his employment with G1X in the best interests of the company.

“The inquiry provides him with the opportunity to express himself while assisting the stewards with their inquiry.”

Mackay said G1X would not make any further comment until the inquiry has been completed.

Callander was one of the first to sign with G1X.com.au when it was launched last August. He previously enjoyed a long media career with Channel 9, TVN and Winning Post.


FBAA slams Callander over ‘kickbacks’ comment

Richard Callander has put bloodstock agents offside Richard Callander has put bloodstock agents offside Image: Getty

The Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) have slammed media personality Richard Callander over comments made during a recent Racing NSW Stewards’ inquiry.

Callander claimed that secret commissions and kickbacks for selling horses are racing’s ‘dark little secret’, something that the FBAA vehemently denies.

“It is very disappointing for a senior journalist to say during a stewards inquiry that kickbacks and secret commissions are racing’s ‘dark little secret’,” said FBAA President Adrian Hancock in a statement on their website.

“Those comments are a slur on the participants in the industry who operate professionally and honestly.”

Callander appeared before Racing NSW officials on Monday and admitted his involvement in the sale of a racehorse to Hong Kong for $200,000 despite telling the owners that the horse had been sold for $140,000.

The deal came to light when Racing Victoria stewards questioned rider Glyn Schofield over the sale of another unraced horse, Equita, previously trained by Brent Stanley.

“I note that no bloodstock agents are alleged to have been involved in this (Callander) sale or the recent transaction in Victoria involving trainer Brent Stanley let alone members of the FBAA,” said Hancock.

“The FBAA is dedicated to ensuring the integrity and fairness in all its horse dealings. We have been at the forefront of developing industry best practices for nearly 20 years.

“In addition to the industry Code of Conduct, the FBAA has a Code of Ethics to ensure our members can be trusted,” said Hancock.

“We urge any racing participant to get in contact with the FBAA if they are in need of advice about the possible sale of a racehorses, yearlings or broodmares.

“To this end we always recommend using the FBAA Contracts of Sale in any transaction. Each of our 26 accredited members will always act in the best interests of their clients and make sure that they are well looked after.”

Richard Callander is facing a charge by Racing NSW stewards Image: Getty
Jockey Glyn Schofield, media personality Richard Callander and Chris Waller’s racing manager Liam Prior have all been charged over the sale of Lil Caesar to Hong Kong.

Racing NSW stewards issued the charges on Friday after the trio attended an inquiry earlier this week.

Schofield is charged under Australian Rule of Racing 85C with having been involved in the negotiating of the sale of the racehorse Lil Caesar to Hong Kong interests.

As a licensed jockey, Schofield is not permitted to be involved in the buying, selling, trading or leasing of thoroughbred bloodstock.

Both Callander and Prior have been charged under AR175(a) with dishonest and/or fraudulent actions in connection with the disbursement of $60,000 of the sale proceeds of $200,000 from the sale.

The inquiry heard on Monday that Prior had allegedly received $24,000 from the sale, Schofield $10,000 as well as another $10,000 in commission from Hong Kong trainer Danny Shum and Callander, who had a 5 per cent share in the horse, over $30,000.

Callander had transferred $129,405.20 from the $200,000 sale to the Waller racing account to be paid to the other owners in the horse.

Earlier this month Schofield was charged by Racing Victoria stewards over the sale of the Brent Stanley-trained Equita to Hong Kong.

It has been alleged that Schofield received $290,000 from the buyer, retaining $20,000 with Stanley collecting $70,000 while the other owners were advised the horse had been sold for $200,000.

Tennis match-fixing: 40 games targeted by bookmakers during three-month period in 2015


More than 40 professional tennis matches were flagged for potential match-fixing by international bookmakers in just a three-month period last year — an average of more than three times a week.

Key points:

  • At least 20 players involved reported to world tennis authorities
  • Blacklist contains more than 350 names
  • Two players are low-ranked Australians
  • Third review for the sport in 11 years

The fixtures took place at tournaments in countries including Colombia, Morocco, Russia and Germany between September and November 2015, eight years after tennis first vowed to fight the scourge of corruption.

At least 20 of the players involved in those matches have been reported to world tennis authorities on previous occasions — a dozen of them were first flagged by integrity investigators as far back as 2008.

Explained: Andy Cunningham from sports integrity firm Sportradar demonstrates how monitoring betting odds can identify suspicions of a match fix

Several of the players also appear on a separate blacklist obtained as part of a Four Corners investigation into match-fixing and the underworld figures who control bookmaking across Asia.

The blacklist is maintained by a European bookmaker of tennis professionals not trusted to always play to win.

The list contains more than 350 names, including at least 10 who played at this year’s Australian Open.

Two of the players on the list are low-ranked Australians, but the majority hail from developing economies in South America, Asia and Eastern Europe, where integrity measures in the sport are at their weakest. Four Corners has provided the list to tennis authorities.

The revelations come five days after the heads of each major tennis governing body — the Association of Tennis Professionals, the International Tennis Federation, the Grand Slam Board and the Women’s Tennis Association — announced a review of the sports integrity regime by a London barrister, Adam Lewis QC.

The investigation was prompted by news reports out of London that linked top-ranked players to corruption in the sport, prompting a global furore and overshadowing the first grand slam on the tennis calendar, the Australian Open.

The review will be the third for the sport in 11 years.

Four Corners has interviewed those who conducted the previous two reviews, all of whom say the sports’ governing bodies are facing a growing problem with matches fixed every single week somewhere across the world.

Do you know more about this story? Email besser.linton@abc.net.au

Tennis buried report warning of ‘deliberate underperformance’

The first major warning was given to tennis by the man who would go on to become Australia’s anti-doping chief, Richard Ings.

As an ATP executive, he produced a scathing report in November 2005 that was meant to have been made public.

The Ings report warned tennis it was “an alarming wake-up call for the sport of men’s professional tennis and its governing bodies”.

“Deliberate underperformance by players and ensuing gambling and alleged corruption that results from such deliberate underperformance, appear to pervade all levels of the men’s professional game today,” the report stated.

Mr Ings recommended the establishment of a uniform anti-corruption code and an integrity unit to more fully investigate 37 matches that were highly suspicious.

But tennis buried the Ings report and did not act on either recommendation until a major scandal years two later.

The controversy centred on a match in Poland in 2007 involving then world’s fourth-best player, Nikolay Davydenko, after Britain’s betting exchange, Betfair, voided all bets on the match.

Although there was ultimately insufficient evidence to make a finding against the Russian, the team investigating that match also discovered damaging evidence about a far wider corruption problem.

This time the investigators identified another 44 matches that required urgent investigation and potential sanction against several key players.

Instead, tennis authorities set up a minimal integrity regime and decided not to go after the players involved, citing a new player code that would not be applied retrospectively.

‘There is still a huge question mark over integrity’

Mark Phillips, a betting analyst from Global Sports Integrity, was one of the investigators involved in the 2007/8 probe.

Bookmakers’ blacklist


One of the players embroiled in a feared match-fixing controversy at the Australian Open, David Marrero, has appeared on a secret blacklist of professional tennis players who have played in matches bookmakers deemed to be suspicious.

He told Four Corners he believed that had tennis followed up with their investigation it would have been able to root out the core people corrupting other players.

“We actually did a presentation, showed various parts of the investigation that we had done and then physically handed over data files and actual ring binders of evidence that we had collected,” he said.

“We were pretty experienced at investigating these types of matters and we believed the evidence to be very strong.”

One of the heads of the review, Ben Gunn, said tennis at the time was at a “cross roads”.

“I think it’s disappointing eight years later, having had two reviews eight years later, that it appears there is still a huge question mark over the integrity of some tennis games,” he said.

Bad Sport, a Four Corners investigation, can be seen at 8:30pm on ABC TV.

Tennis match-fixing scandal: How it unfolded

Updated Wed at 2:44pm

Tennis has ordered an investigation into its anti-corruption unit after it was left reeling by reports of match-fixing.

Here is how the story rapidly unfolded from when it first broke on January 18 to the announcement of the independent review panel on January 27.

Investigation reportedly uncovers evidence of match-fixing by core group of 16 players

January 18, 2016

BuzzFeed News and the BBC reveal details of a probe which found 16 players had lost games when suspicious bets were placed against them.

A US Open champion and doubles winners at Wimbledon were among the core group, while one top-50 ranked player competing in the Australian Open is suspected of repeatedly fixing his first set;

Players were reportedly targeted in hotel rooms and offered $73,100 or more per fix.

The report looked at analysis of betting on 26,000 tennis matches and contained evidence of suspected match-fixing by gambling syndicates based in Russia and Italy uncovered as a result of an investigation in 2008, but over which no action had been taken.

ATP ‘absolutely rejects’ claims evidence of match-fixing has been suppressed

January 18, 2016

The president of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) says the governing body “absolutely rejects” that evidence of match-fixing in the sport has been suppressed or overlooked.

“The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) and the tennis authorities absolutely reject any suggestion that evidence of match fixing has been suppressed for any reason or isn’t being thoroughly investigated,” said Chris Kermode at a press conference at Melbourne Park.

Tennis’s big names react to the allegations

January 20, 2016

With the allegations emerging as 2016’s first major got underway, high-profile players were immediately put on the spot by the media. Aussie young gun Thanasi Kokkinakis was one of the first to speak, admitting he had been approached by “randoms” on social media to fix matches.

Men’s world number one Novak Djokovic fronted the press, dismissing a report in an international newspaper that he “wanted to lose” a match in 2007 and saying he felt terrible when he has been asked to fix a match in 2006, while retiring Australian great Lleyton Hewitt also went on the offensive after a blog linked him to the list of 16 names.

Novak Djokovic: “Speculation”

What it is to say?

Anybody can create a story about any match.

That’s my point. There hasn’t been too many matches where top players lost in last decade or so in early rounds. You can pick any match that you like that the top player lost and just create a story out of it.

I think it’s not supported by any kind of proof, any evidence, any facts. It’s just speculation. So I don’t think there is a story about it.

This is now the main story in tennis, in [the] sports world, there’s going to be a lot of allegations.

Andy Murray: “More transparent”

If there is corruption in any sport, you know, you want to hear about it.

As a player you just want to be made aware of everything that’s going on. I think we deserve to know everything that’s sort of out there.

Some of it will be true, some of it might not be true. But I’m always very curious with that stuff across really all sports, as well. I think sports could in general be much, much more transparent.

Roger Federer: “Names”

I would love to hear names.

Then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it. Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which slam?

It’s super serious and it’s super important to maintain the integrity of our sport.

So how high up does it go? The higher it goes, the more surprised I would be.

Lleyton Hewitt: “Absurd”

I think it’s a joke to deal with it. Obviously, there’s no possible way. I know my name’s now been thrown into it.

I don’t think anyone here would think that I’ve done anything (like) corruption or match-fixing. It’s just absurd.

For anyone that tries to go any further with it, then good luck. Take me on with it.

Yeah, it’s disappointing. I think throwing my name out there with it makes the whole thing an absolute farce.

Online bookmakers suspend betting on a mixed doubles match at the Australian Open

January 24, 2016

Betting agency Pinnacle Sports received large bets from a small number of people on Sunday’s doubles match between Czech Republic’s Andrea Hlavackova and Poland’s Lukasz Kubot and Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena and David Marrero.

The agency said it was unusual for such large bets to be placed on minor matches. It was later revealed at least 19 other bookmakers including Ladbrokes also cancelled their betting markets on the match, according to historical betting data available online.

Hlavackova and Kubot won the match 6-0, 6-3 in 49 minutes, with the New York times reporting on Monday that the unusual betting patterns on the match had led Pinnacle Sports to suspend markets 13 hours before the scheduled start.

Spanish doubles player Marrero appears on blacklist of players who bookmakers deem suspicious

January 25, 2016

A secret bookmakers’ blacklist of tennis players is handed over to authorities, with ABC’s Four Corners revealing Marrero’s name is featured in the document.

The list is maintained by one of Europe’s biggest bookmakers.

The development comes after the president of the International Tennis Federation, David Haggerty, told Four Corners: “Players at all levels are vulnerable to corruption.”

Tennis announces independent review into the effectiveness of tennis’s anti-corruption program

January 27, 2016

Adam Lewis QC is appointed to lead an independent review panel to report on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the Tennis Anit-Corruption Program, aimed at safeguarding the integrity of the game.

The chairmen and chief executives of tennis’s governing bodies, the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slam Board, commit to fund and implement all actions recommended by the panel.

 

Former top Vic Lib Damien Mantach charged over $1.5m taken from party


 Updated 18/11/15 2.30pm

Not the first time either…. he had a go at making some extra bucks in the apple isle of Tassie too a while back and was moved on…mmm just like those priests who have rumours made about them tongue in cheek)

Former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach.

Former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach.

Former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach has been charged with 44 counts of obtaining financial advantage totalling about $1.5 million.

In August, Mantach was accused of embezzling election campaign funds, with the money alleged to have vanished over four years to fund his lifestyle.

An audit of the party’s finances after last year’s state election loss uncovered unauthorised financial transactions, with money missing from both state and federal campaign funds.

Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad were called in to investigate.

Police said a 42-year-old man from Ocean Grove is to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court this afternoon.


Victoria Police investigate Liberal Party state director over embezzlement claims worth $1.5m

Updated 20 Aug 2015, 7:27pm

The police fraud squad is investigating allegations former Victorian Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach embezzled around $1.5 million of election campaign funds.

The money is alleged to have vanished over four years to fund Mr Mantach’s lifestyle.

An audit of the party’s finances after last year’s state election loss uncovered unauthorised financial transactions linked to Mr Mantach, with money missing from both state and federal campaign funds.

The Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad has been called in to investigate.

Liberal Party president Michael Kroger said Mr Mantach had admitted to wrongdoing.

“We feel profoundly betrayed and terribly disappointed with what’s happened,” Mr Kroger said.

Key points:

  • Liberal Party accuses former state director of embezzling $1.5m
  • Alleged theft happened over four years
  • Victoria Police fraud and extortion squad called in to investigate
  • Party believes Mantach took the money to fund his lifestyle

He said the party believed Mr Mantach had acted alone.

“We’re not aware that anyone at the party head office or any officials had any involvement at all,” he said.

It also emerged that Mr Mantach repaid tens of thousands of dollars during his time as state director of the Tasmanian branch.

In a letter to members posted on Facebook, Tasmanian Liberal president Geoff Page said in March 2008 that when he left the role, Mr Mantach fully repaid a liability of nearly $48,000 for personal expenses.

Mr Page said the division considered the matter closed and had robust internal financial processes.

Mr Kroger said he did not believe the missing money influenced the 2014 election result, or that it would affect the next federal election.

Liberal leader Matthew Guy said the party was furious at what he called a “pretty basic effort at embezzlement”.

“We want our money back,” he said.

“We want this matter sent to the police and we will be doing everything we can to ensure that justice is done.

“I saw someone making a comment that we’re white hot with anger, that’s just the start of it.”

Mr Kroger said the missing money was confined to the party’s Victorian division and he was confident some of it could be recovered through assets bought with the funds.

Mr Kroger conceded the Liberal Party had failed to properly monitor spending.

“Obviously it should have been picked up years ago — it wasn’t,” he said.

Former premier Denis Napthine, who led the party during last year’s campaign, said he was surprised and bitterly disappointed by the allegations.

The party’s administrative committee met this morning to discuss how to deal with the missing money.

Mr Mantach has been contacted for comment.


 

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