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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Caleb Jakobsson charged over fatal Carrum Downs mini-motorbike crash to remain on bail despite breaches


(I’m having a few issues publishing images so hang 5, they will show up soon.)

This is not within community standards surely? Who cares if he misses his girl blah blah? He killed and expectant mother because he did not give a fuck! Why should we about him. Back to jail son and think about your crimes.

8 breaches whilst on parole and the magistrate says nothing wrong here…continue!

He ran over an innocent mum walking to the shops using a crossing…


Andrea Lehane pictured with her husband James

Andrea Lehane pictured with her husband James

Updated 3pm 16/05/2016

Caleb Jakobsson court sketch

A teenager charged over the death of a Melbourne mother in a mini-motorcycle crash will remain on bail despite committing eight breaches, with a magistrate citing evidence that he is a “changed individual”.

Caleb Jakobsson is accused of running over Andrea Lehane outside a Carrum Downs shopping centre in September last year.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court was told the 19-year-old had breached the conditions of his bail at least eight times since being released from protective custody in prison in October.

The breaches included failing to adhere to a curfew and another incident which was suppressed by the court.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg said he expected someone on bail while facing the serious charge of culpable driving causing death “would toe the line to perfection”.

“It is not so with you,” he said.

Magistrate Rozencwajg said Jakobsson had acted in a way that was disrespectful to Ms Lehane’s loved ones, but that bail was about risk.

Jakobsson breached bail because ‘he’s in love’

The 19-year-old has been staying with a relative in country Victoria.

A hearing last week was told Jakobsson had broken his curfew imposed by court after falling in love with a single mother.

The relative Jakobsson is living with gave evidence after reporting him to police over eight breaches, telling the court he had been out with his girlfriend and new friends.

“He’s in love, I know it’s not an excuse. Often I knew he was local and wouldn’t pose a threat,” she said.

“I thank God I went to the police because he’s had a real change of heart.”

The woman had to re-pledge she would immediately report any further breaches of bail.

Magistrate Rozencwajg said the family member had told the court “since the last hearing, [Jakobsson] has been a changed individual”.

He granted Jakobsson bail with more stringent conditions until his next court hearing in June.

From other news sites:

Herald Sun: Monkey bike death accused Caleb Jakobsson to stay on bail

Teen charged over fatal Carrum Downs mini-motorbike crash granted bail


By Karen Percy

Updated 20 Oct 2015, 4:45pm

A court sketch of Caleb Jakobsson, who has been granted bail. (Supplied)

Caleb Jakobsson court sketch

A teenager facing charges over the death of a mother of two who was fatally injured in a mini-motorbike crash in a Melbourne shopping centre has been granted bailed.

It is alleged Caleb Jakobsson was driving a mini-motorbike in the car park of the Carrum Downs complex when he struck Andrea Lehane.

Justice Phillip Priest imposed 14 conditions in granting bail.

He will be subject to a 10:00pm to 9:00am curfew, he has to report to police three times a week, and he cannot leave the state or the country.

He has also been banned from contacting the other teenagers charged in this case, including by social media, as well as being ordered to live with his relative, who cannot be identified because of a suppression order.

“It was a very close run thing that you got bail,” Justice Priest told the teenager.

The 18-year-old is due back in court in January.

Photo: Andrea Lehane pictured with her husband James. (Supplied: Andrea Lehane fund-raising page)


Mini-motorbike hit-and-run: Bail refused for teen charged over death of woman at Carrum Downs shopping centre

Updated 30 Sep 2015, 5:15pm
Related Story: Teen charged over mini-motorbike hit-and-run ‘unlikely’ to get bail: magistrate
An 18-year-old man charged over a mini-motorbike hit-and-run that killed a mother of two at Carrum Downs, in Melbourne’s south-east, has been refused bail in court.

Caleb Jakobsson, 18, faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a second day in a row, charged with culpable driving over the death of Andrea Lehane, 34, who was hit by a mini-motorcycle at a pedestrian crossing at a Carrum Downs shopping centre last Wednesday.

She died in hospital on Friday after suffering what her husband described as “unsurvivable” injuries.

Jakobsson was charged with culpable driving, failing to stop and render assistance, unlicensed driving and driving an unregistered vehicle.

A relative, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court that if Jakobsson were to be released on bail, he could live with her on a property in rural Victoria.

She told the court there would be plenty of opportunity for Jakobsson to be involved in volunteering, and he would have lots of support.

“We all want to help Caleb,” she said.

Photo: Andrea Lehane pictured with her husband James. (Supplied)

“We’re a tight family, everybody will get involved.”

But the prosecution argued Jakobsson posed an unacceptable risk of reoffending.

Magistrate Frank Holzer agreed, adding Jakobsson could face a lengthy prison sentence if found guilty of culpable driving.

Jakobsson will return to court next year.

Yesterday in court, police described the “chaotic” scenes at the pedestrian crossing in the aftermath of the crash, which was caught on CCTV.

Detective Senior Constable Leigh Miller said he thought Jakobsson was driving at 30 kilometres per hour in a 10kph zone.


 

 

Teen charged with hitting and killing mother-of-two with his mini-bike is granted bail AGAIN despite breaching his curfew eight times and being ‘insolent and disrespectful’ to her family

  • Caleb Jakobssen, 19, faced court in relation to a hit-and-run accident 
  • He was charged with a string of offences relating to a woman’s death
  • Andrea Lehane, 34, a mother of two, died after being hit by his motorcycle
  • Jakobssen has avoided being returned to custody after breaching bail
  • When granted bail in 2015  he was given a curfew between 10pm and 9am 

By Aneeta Bhole For Daily Mail Australia and Aap

Published: 16:29 EST, 16 May 2016 | Updated: 16:35 EST, 16 May 2016

A teenager charged with killing a mother-of-two with his mini-motorbike has been granted bail despite repeatedly breaching a court-imposed curfew and ‘acting disrespectfully’ toward his victim’s family.

Melbourne Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg once again granted Caleb Jakobsson, 19, bail at a hearing on Monday after prosecutors asked for it be revoked because of the curfew breaches.

The ruling came even though the magistrate said Jakobsson had ‘an attitude that can only be described as insolent’.

‘Not only have you breached your bail conditions but you do so in a way that is disrespectful to the family and loved ones of the deceased,’ Rozencwajg told the teenager.

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Caleb Jakobsson (pictured), 19, accused of striking a mother-of-two with his mini-motorbike as she crossed a pedestrian crossing will avoid going back to custody despite breaching bail conditions

Jakobsson was first granted bail last year after being charged with culpable driving causing the death of nurse Andrea Lehane, 34, in September.

The teen is accused of striking Ms Lehane with his mini ‘monkey’ motorbike as she walked across a pedestrian crossing at a shopping centre in Carrum Downs – It’s alleged the teen then sped away.

The mother-of-two died on September 25 when her family turned off her life support after being told she wouldn’t survive her brain injuries.

When Jakobsson was granted bail, his conditions included a curfew between 10pm and 9am.

Prosecutors applied in April to have his bail revoked after it was revealed the teen had breached his curfew multiple times – and that the relative he is staying with had not immediately reported it to police.

Mr Jakobsson fronted the Melbourne Magistrates Court last month after the relative he was staying with, who cannot be identified, reported him to police for breaching his curfew.

At the April hearing, Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg added more conditions to Jakobsson’s (pictured) bail, including he attend court for regular reviews

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg told Jakobsson that he would not not revoke the teens bail this time at a bail review hearing, but mentioned that Jakobsson had a an attitude that can only be described as ‘insolent’

At the April hearing, Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg added more conditions to Jakobsson’s bail, including he attend court for regular reviews.

The teen’s relative said she had failed to report Jakobsson’s breaches, despite giving an undertaking to the Supreme Court that she would, because she was trying to show mercy.

She said: ‘I didn’t think he was a threat. In every one of those instances he was somewhere local.’

Jakobsson is scheduled to attend a review in June before facing a committal hearing in July.

Andrea Lehane(left), 34, died on September 25 2015 leaving behind a son and daughter (right)

The 19-year-old (pictured) was granted bail last year with conditions that included a curfew between 10pm and 9am.  Prosecutors asked for Jakobssons bail to be revoked because he breached curfew eight times

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Former priest John Joseph Farrell jailed for at least 18 years over child sexual assaults


This is what the bloody church does, try to hide away filthy disgusting sexual offenders for years. BUT the time is up for the pathetic excuse, up until now known as Father F…Real name former priest John Joseph Farrell


‘Clear evidence’ of Catholic Church cover-up over Father ‘F’: former DPP director

Updated about an hour ago

The former director of the NSW Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) says there is “clear evidence” the Catholic Church covered up the crimes of a paedophile priest.

John Joseph Farrell, formerly Father “F” under a decades-old suppression order, was sentenced to a minimum 18 years’ jail after being found guilty of 62 counts of child sex abuse in Armidale in the 1980s.

Pressure is mounting on the DPP to investigate the Catholic Church over its role in the cover-up of Farrell’s crimes, with the possibility of further criminal prosecution of senior Catholic Church leaders.

Since 1990, it has been against the law to conceal serious offences under 316 of the Crimes Act.

“I think this is very clear evidence of continuing cover-up,” former DPP director Nicholas Cowdery said.

“I don’t see how you can get away from that.”

Farrell has offered to give evidence against senior Catholic leaders who have repeatedly denied covering up his child sex crimes.

In documents obtained by 7.30, Farrell insists he admitted to Reverend Monsignor Usher and Father Brian Lucas he sexually abused five boys between 1982 and 1984.

They have denied witnessing Farrell’s admission to child sex crimes.

Do you know more about this story? Email 7.30syd@your.abc.net.au

Farrell’s legal representative wrote to the Special Commission into Child Sex Abuse allegations in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in October 2013, saying Farrell offered to give evidence “contrary to the accounts given by Fathers Usher and Lucas”.

“Importantly, such evidence supports the proposition of a ‘cover-up’ and may provide evidence of offences such as misprision of a felony and the failing to disclose information concerning a serious offence,” the letter reads.

The confession

On September 3, 1992, Farrell was called to a meeting with senior Catholic church leaders in the in the presbytery of St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney.

Present were Father Wayne Peters (now deceased), Reverend Monsignor Usher and Father Lucas, now the national director of The Catholic Mission.

They have said Farrell admitted to “nothing specific” and that Farrell spoke about his “sexual fantasies”, according to the Whitlam Report into the affair, commissioned by the Parramatta and Armidale Diocese in 2012.

“Farrell said nothing on that occasion where he mentioned any names or any matters of child sexual abuse,” Reverend Monsignor Usher told 7.30.

A secret internal letter about the meeting sent in 1992, signed by Reverend Peters and addressed to the Bishop of Armidale, includes details of graphic sexual abuse inflicted upon five boys.

“Some of the boys involved may bring criminal charges against the Rev Farrell with subsequent grave harm to the priesthood and the church.”

Reverend Monsignor Usher disputes the letter’s version of events.

“He [Farrell] talked a lot about homosexuality or gayness but whatever Wayne Peters wrote did not come out of that meeting,” Reverend Monsignor Usher said.

“He may have had access to other information.”

‘Facts constitute serious indictable offences’

Mr Cowdery said it was in the public interest that clergyman that may have known about crimes, yet failed to report them to police, are referred to the DPP on the basis of Farrell’s testimony and the 1992 letter.

“In that letter, there is a very clear description of facts that would constitute serious indictable offences,” he said.

“That is, criminal offences that carry a penalty of five years’ imprisonment or more.”

Associate Professor David Hamer, a specialist in the law of evidence at the University of Sydney, said it is at the discretion of the DPP whether or not to prosecute.

“I’d imagine that someone senior in the NSW DPP would take a very close look at any charges that were laid in this case,” Associate Professor Hamer said.

Father Lucas has always maintained Farrell did not make any admission that required going to the police, and did not agree to an interview with 7.30.

NSW Police Strikeforce Glenroe, the DPP, the Sydney Archdiocese and the Bishop of Armidale have all been contacted for comment.


Victim of sexual abuse by Catholic priest felt ‘completely abandoned’ by church

 8 Apr 2016, 5:46pm

Victims of a former Catholic priest who sexually abused children in northern New South Wales in the 1980s have described the devastating impact of his crimes in statements read out in court.

John Joseph Farrell, 62, is awaiting sentencing for 62 offences involving 12 victims.

One victim said in his statement, which was read by his mother, the abuse was compounded by the fact that when he reported what happened to him, he was not believed.

“I felt completely abandoned by the institution I had put so much faith in,” his statement said.

The victim said he had enjoyed a happy childhood until the age of 11.

“When I met Farrell, all of that changed,” he said in his statement.

He said the Catholic Church merely protected Farrell.

The man also said it was no coincidence he started drinking after meeting Farrell.

He said he developed chronic alcoholism, never engaged in study or long-term employment and has had 20 different homes in the past 25 years.

Victim ‘never had a proper relationship’ after abuse

Another victim said that having to re-live the offences against him was traumatic.

“I have never been able to have a proper relationship because of what happened to me,” his statement said.

My experience with John Farrell was always present in my thoughts and never was I prepared to reveal that I was a victim.

Child sexual abuse victim

Another victim who was raped by Farrell was overcome with emotion as he was preparing to read out his victim impact statement in the witness box.

His partner stepped up to read the statement on his behalf.

In it, he said the abuse continues to cause him problems with intimacy.

“I feel unclean until I’ve showered [after sexual activity],” he said. “John Farrell has shown neither remorse nor regret for what he has done to me and others.”

Most of Farrell’s victims were altar boys in the Moree area, but three of the victims were girls.

A woman who was sexually abused by Farrell said in her statement that was submitted but not read to the court: “I naively assumed that God must have been okay with it.”

“My experience with John Farrell was always present in my thoughts and never was I prepared to reveal that I was a victim,” she said.


Convicted paedophile priest John Joseph Farrell given sentence of 29 years for 62 sex crimes

A former priest will got to jail following his conviction on 62 counts of abuse.

A PAEDOPHILE priest, who raped one of his victims on the church’s altar, has been sentenced to almost three decade behind bars.

At Sydney’s District Court on Monday Judge Peter Zahra said former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell “disregarded and took advantage” of his victims who he groomed over long periods of time.

Last month, Farrell was found guilty of 62 offences involving rapes and indecent assaults against three girls and nine boys over nearly a decade in the northern NSW towns of Moree and Tamworth.

As well as the 62 historical sexual crimes against children, a further 17 offences were taken into account when he was handed down a sentence of 29 years, with a non-parole period of 18 years.

He will not leave prison until 2033 at the earliest.

The disgraced ex-priest sat in the dock with his eyes closed as Judge Zahra told the courtroom how Farrell had assaulted his victims between 1979 and 1988.

Farrell was aware of, and exploited, the powerful position he held as a priest, the judge said.

Although some of Farrell’s crimes might have appeared to be spontaneous, they were in fact a result of the offender’s long-term grooming of the boys and girls which included gaining the trust of their parents, Judge Zahra continued.

At Farrell’s trial last month, the jury heard one of the victims, who was just 10 when the abuse began, was so trusting of the then-priest she convinced herself the assaults were “OK with God”.

The disabled victim, who can’t be identified, said in a statement tendered the court that the traumatising sexual abuse had continued throughout her teenage years.

“I naively assumed that God must have been OK with it,” she said.

Another of Farrell’s female victims would often try to escape when he visited her family home.

She would run to a friend’s house which led to her family becoming angry with her for being anti-social, she said in her victim impact statement.

“I kept the abuse quiet from my family as I was afraid of their reaction,” she said.

She told the court she had been robbed of her dream of having a husband and child.

“I have had plenty of boyfriends over the years but have always found sexual relations with them to be unpleasant,” she said.

“Although I made my body participate in the actions, my mind would remain detached.”

Before abusing the girls, Farrell had preyed on nine altar boys at Moree in the early 1980s.

He had raped one victim on the church’s altar and targeted others in a local swimming pool and during car trips to nearby parishes.

Many of those sitting in the public gallery of the courtroom wept as the sentence was handed down, while others clapped as the judge imposed a non-parole period of 18 years.

— with AAP


smh.com.au

Ex-Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell jailed for 29 years for child sex assaults

Emma Partridge

John Joseph Farrell during a previous hearing.John Joseph Farrell during a previous hearing. Photo: Barry Smith

Victims stood and clapped as one of the most notorious paedophile priests in NSW was sentenced to 29 years’ jail after committing 62 acts of child sex abuse in regional NSW.

Former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell, 62, sexually abused nine young altar boys and three girls between 1979 and 1988 in Moree, Armidale and Tamworth.

Victim Mark Boughton with his wife Belinda after former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell was sentenced to 29 years in ...Victim Mark Boughton with his wife Belinda after former Catholic priest John Joseph Farrell was sentenced to 29 years in jail. Photo: Nick Moir

Farrell, also known as “Father F”, committed 27 acts of sexual assault, 48 acts of indecent assault and four acts of indecency.

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The “predatory” former priest was sentenced to a maximum of 29 years but a minimum of 18 years at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court on Monday.

He closed his eyes and showed no emotion during the three hour sentencing.

Victim Mark Boughton outside court.

Victim Mark Boughton outside court. Photo: Nick Moir

One of the people who clapped and cried was victim Mark Boughton and his wife, Belinda.

Outside court he said he hoped the outcome would allow himself and other victims to “have a life”.

“I’m very happy with the outcome; maybe it might show everyone else that they can stand up do the right thing and get these so called people off the street,” Mr Boughton said.

“Hopefully, everyone can get on, move on, have a life,” he said.

“Justice is served – he got what he wanted or what he needed, preying on kids. It’s not on – hopefully the world knows that now.”

During the sentencing hearing, Judge Peter Zahra spoke of how Farrell groomed many of his victims and exploited his position as a priest.

“The offender admitted he had a great deal of influence over the altar boys and he abused that position,” Judge Zahra said.

Judge Zahra said the offender, “disregarded and took advantage of the vulnerability of the child victims”.

“In relation to the altar boy victims, the offender knew there would be continuing opportunity because of the relationships he had developed with the victims and their parents.

“The offender created situations where he was confident he would not be detected even where his sexual abuse was, at times brazen in the extreme.”

During the trial, Crown prosecutor Bryan Rowe outlined a series of incidents in which Farrell groped, molested, raped or forced oral sex on the altar boys.

One altar boy who was indecently assaulted in a Moree swimming pool and later raped in the presbytery said, “It was the worst memory of [my] life.”

The victim went to report the sexual abuse to police in 2012 after viewing a Four Corners program.

He said he felt “embarrassed” and “ashamed” and said he hadn’t come forward earlier because “back in 1982 no one would have believed my words against a priest”.

Another victim had told the court that he was forced to perform oral sex on Farrell in a cellar when he was aged 10 or 11.

He said he told one of the brothers that he had been “hurt”.

Someone told him “they would sort it out” so the victim felt safe when he went back to church the following day.

But Farrell pulled his pants down at the altar and raped him.

“It felt like hours,” the victim said.

He said Farrell had threatened to kill him and his family if he told anyone about what had happened.

The former priest also molested three young girls. On one occasion he fondled the vagina of a little girl while she was at the dinner table with her family.

“The offender continued this conduct throughout the course of the meal during which he was engaging in conversation with other members of the family at the table,” Judge Zahra said.

Another victim, who was aged between nine and 11, was in Farrell’s bedroom at the presbytery when he was sexually assaulted with a toothbrush.

“I just want you to tell me if this hurts” or “how does this feel”, Farrell said at the time.

The victim cried and screamed out in pain.

Farrell was not suspended from public ministry until 1992.

His jail term will expire in 2044 but he will be eligible for parole in June 2033.


 

Standover man and convicted killer Walid “Wally” Ahmad shot dead at Bankstown


“Despite extensive searches by detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, a 48-year-old, who is wanted by virtue of an arrest warrant, has not been found,’’ police said today.

A senior officer has told the Daily Telegraph that while Elmer could be hiding from police there is a possibility he has been killed.

Police said he may also be hiding for fear he may be targeted by associates of Walid Ahmad.

 

Police inspect the burnt-out remains of a vehicle used during the Ahmad shooting. Picture: Getty Images

 

SYDNEY’S escalating gangland war in the southwest may have claimed another victim with the disappearance of a man wanted for questioning over the murder of major crime figure Walid Ahmad.

Ahmad, 40, a Mr Big of Sydney crime, was shot dead as he sipped coffee at a rooftop cafe at Bankstown shopping centre. It’s believed it was payback for the shooting of Safwan Charbaji, 32, outside Ahmad’s business on April 9.

Fawaz Mohammed Elmir is wanted for his alleged involvement in the shooting at the smash repair shop and warrants have been issued for his arrest.

Elmir, who was at the smash repair yard and related through marriage to Mr Charbaji, has vanished.

Fawaz Mohammed Elmir.Source:Supplied

Walid Ahmad.Source:Channel 7

 

“Despite extensive searches by detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad, a 48-year-old, who is wanted by virtue of an arrest warrant, has not been found,’’ police said today.

A senior officer has told the Daily Telegraph that while Elmer could be hiding from police there is a possibility he has been killed.

Police said he may also be hiding for fear he may be targeted by associates of Walid Ahmad.

Originally published as Man wanted over gangland shooting disappears

Police are investigating a shooting in Sydney’s south-west that left one man dead and two people injured.

MOMENTS before shots rang out at a Bankstown shopping centre this morning, a man rushed into a shop inside screaming, “There’s not enough f***ing time”.

Standover man and convicted killer Walid “Wally” Ahmad was shot dead and two others were injured at the centre when an unknown person opened fire inside Bankstown Central, in Sydney’s southwest, just before noon.

Police are now hunting two people over the attack, a man who opened fire and another who drove a getaway car.

A 32-year-old woman, believed to be friends with Ahmad, is recovering in hospital alongside Ahmad’s bodyguard, a 53-year-old man.

A woman working in a cosmetics store inside the centre told news.com.au that a man and a woman rushed into the shop moments before the shooting.

“Where’s store security? Where’s store security? Can you call them?” the distressed woman said.

She banged her hand on the counter, saying “call them, call them!”

But the man said: “There’s not enough f***ing time.”

The pair then ran towards an escalator, which leads to the third-level gym, cafe and carpark, where the shooting occurred.

It is not known who the people were or if they were hurt in the shooting.

Shooting victim Walid “Wally” Ahmad.

‘IT’S CLEARLY TARGETED’

Bankstown police commander Detective Superintendent David Eardley confirmed a 40-year-old man is dead and two others were injured in the shooting.

Police believe the gunman did not act alone and a burnt-out white Mercedes connected to the crime has been found in Greenacre.

While police have not confirmed the identity of the victim, he said police would also be looking at the connection with another shooting at Condell Park earlier this month.

“It’s clearly targeted; this is not a random shooting,” Det Supt Eardley said.

“People need to understand and feel safe to go about the streets and their daily lives.”

He also urged those connected to the crime not to take matters into their own hands.

“Leave it to us to investigate … there is no need to resort to any activity that would jeopardise themselves or others.”

A burnt-out Mercedes car that was found shortly after a shooting in Bankstown. Picture Craig Greenhill

‘COME GET ME! HE’S DEAD!’

The niece of the victim Walid “Wally” Ahmad told news.com.au: “It’s my uncle. He’s the victim.”

The woman was at a family gathering at a home nearby when she received a phone call that her uncle had been shot.

She said she received a panicked call from Ahmad’s daughter, her cousin, as she raced to the Bankstown Central shopping centre.

“She said, ‘Come get me! He’s dead! He’s dead!’” the shocked niece told news.com.au

“I need to get to her. She’s all by herself, she’s alone.

When asked who may have targeted Ahmad, the niece said: “I don’t know. The most important thing is finding my cousin.”

Later, news.com.au witnessed the niece and the daughter hug as they were reunited.

The shopping centre’s management ushered family members to a nearby coffee house, where more than a dozen police officers were gathered.

An elderly woman, believed to be the mother of the victim, was seen slumped in a wheelchair, quivering, with her hands covering her face.

The family were agitated as they left the area, demanding that no pictures be taken.

One of the victims of the Bankstown Centro Shopping Centre shooting being loaded into an ambulance. Picture: Channel 10 / Twitter

MISTAKEN IDENTITY?

Today’s shooting took place at a major shopping centre, formerly known as Bankstown Centro, on the corner of Stacey St and Rickard Rd, in Sydney’s southwest.

Witnesses told news.com.au that the shooting happened in the centre carpark outside Michael’s Coffee House, near Crunch Fitness gym and Rebel Sports store.

People who parked close to the scene have been told by police they could not move their cars, and some have resorted to taking the bus home.

Early reports said a man aged about 40 went into cardiac arrest. The body is believed to still be at the scene.

It is understood two people have been detained at the scene, including an unidentified, handcuffed man pictured. Police told news.com.au that nobody had been formally arrested.

A Bankstown resident working at the shopping centre, who asked not to be named, told AAP that “police arrested the wrong people to start with”.

He said a Mercedes was stopped and searched by police on the corner of Jacobs St and Rickard Rd, but police failed to find a weapon.

“It happened in front of us,” he said. “They handcuffed the wrong person.” He said police found the right car, a black four-wheel drive, at the rooftop car park near the gym.

A man is detained at the scene. Picture: TNV

Police have warned drivers to avoid the area around the centre because of traffic delays.

“There were a couple of screams and you just wondered if they were kids or something,” Mr Davis said.

“It was surreal really.

“I suppose I’m feeling really fortunate that I wasn’t there (at the tome of the escalator).”

STANDOVER MAN

The victim is a known standover man with a previous manslaughter conviction.

It is believed Ahmad is connected to a fatal shooting at smash repair business, A Team Smash Repair, where one man, Safwan Chabaji , was shot dead in April in Condell Park.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that he has been on the run since the fatal shooting.

Mr Ahmad was previously convicted of the 2002 killing of Mayez Dany in Greenacre.

A woman was taken to hospital after a shooting at a Bankstown shopping centre. Picture: Channel 9

Officers were called to the shopping centre about 11.50am after reports of a shooting. There were unconfirmed reports of eight shots being fired in the carpark.

A witness having coffee outside a nearby cafe said she heard the commotion and everybody got up and started walking away.

A Channel 7 video shows one of the victims being asked whether he was OK as he was being wheeled away on a stretcher.

When asked what happened, the victim said: “Firework”.

Shooting at Bankstown shopping centre. Picture: TNV

The previous shooting at the smash repair business left one man, Safwan Charbaji, 32, dead with gunshot wound to the chest. Another, Abdullah El Masri, 35, was left in a critical condition after being shot in the face. He remains in an induced coma.

The shooting happened on the afternoon of April 9 in Condell Park, a suburb of Bankstown.

Witnesses reported hearing an argument before a number of shots were fired.

At the time, authorities said the men were known to police.

“We believe that the people did know each other,” a police spokesman told media on Saturday, adding that it was unclear whether the men were shot by a third party.

“It’s quite possible that a meeting has taken place.”

A man is being taken to hospital on a stretcher after a shooting at Bankstown. Picture: Channel 9

A local shop worker told news.com.au Ahmad was one of her “favourite customers.”

“When I had first met Walid he had recently been out of jail,” she said.

“But he was always a sweet man, had brought in his little girl and his wife a few times.

“Could never say no to the lollies she’d want to buy.

“Anyway I understand people are different, but I only had an employee-customer relationship with him.

“I’m sure his wife is very heartbroken though.”

At least six ambulances and a dozen police cars were at the scene and television footage showed paramedics putting a man on a stretcher.

Police said they arrived to find two men and a woman injured; one of the men died at the scene.

A crime scene has been established, which will be examined by detectives and forensic specialists.

The shopping centre car park has been closed as a precaution.

Anyone with information that could assist police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Man shot dead outside Sydney shopping centre

Fri 29 Apr 2016, 3:52pm

A gunman is at large after a “targeted” shooting in Sydney’s south-west that has left one man dead and two other people injured.

  • A 40-year-old man is dead after shooting at Bankstown Central Shopping Centre
  • A man and a woman who were injured have been taken to hospital
  • Police say the shooting was targeted and the gunman did not act alone

Emergency crews were called to the car park of Bankstown Central Shopping Centre on Rickard Road just before midday.

On arrival police found three injured people – two men and a woman. A 40-year-old man died of his injuries at the scene.

A 60-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman were treated by paramedics for wounds to their lower legs before being taken to hospital.

Detective Superintendent David Eardley said the shooting was targeted.

“This isn’t a random shooting, it was clearly targeted to the man who has died of gunshot wounds,” he said.

“I can assure the Bankstown and neighbouring communities not to be concerned about this incident.

“You will see a large number of police resources around the Bankstown area. That’s purely a proactive stance by us to again provide some reassurance to the community that it is safe.”

Detective Superintendent Eardley said he was unaware of any arrests so far, but there was evidence the gunman did not act alone.

“We had information of a white Mercedes vehicle being used and I can confirm that vehicle has been located burned-out in the Greenacre area,” he said.

He urged anyone associated with the incident not to take matters into their own hands.

“Leave it to us to investigate and leave it to us to identify the people involved. We will put them before the courts, they will be dealt with under our law,” he said.

“There is no need to revert to any type of action that will jeopardise their family and the public.”

Detective Superintendent Eardley said the incident could be connected with a fatal shooting at nearby Condell Park earlier in April.

“We’re certainly not ruling out any links. We’re looking at all opportunities and all avenues of investigation. Certainly there has been a shooting in this area, in the Condell Park area,” he said.

“That is subject to Strike Force Admiralty. Those detectives will be reviewing the incident today and see if they can identify any linkages.”

The shopping centre car park has been closed as a precaution and drivers have been asked to avoid the area.

Fatema Islam was in the shopping centre car park when the shooting happened.

She said she initially thought the gunshot sounds may have been someone dropping something at the nearby gym.

“I looked back and there was nothing, and then suddenly one lady came running and crying and saying ‘oh there’s a gunshot, there’s a gunshot’. And I just freaked out,” she said.

“I looked back, but there was nothing, no car was there, no person or nothing.

“I didn’t see any dead body or nothing. When I went inside [the shopping centre], at that time, all the police and everyone came.”

Bankstown resident Bessy Axiotis said she did not feel safe shopping at the centre.

“[It’s] very sad, because there’s children around, there’s families. It’s a very busy time,” she said.

“I came up and at that time that’s when everyone was screaming and running around. I didn’t actually see what happened, but it was just chaotic.

“Everyone was running, everyone just ran back in and then the police came.

“I shop here all the time, but now you think ‘OK, I’ve got to shop somewhere else now, because Bankstown isn’t safe’. It’s very upsetting.”

Shark patrol charity Australian Aerial Patrol under investigation over alleged fraud


Shark patrol charity Australian Aerial Patrol under investigation over alleged fraud

Posted 16 minutes ago

The future of an Australian shark patrol charity looks in doubt amid a series of investigations into fraud and misappropriation of funds.

The ABC also understands that Harry Mitchell, the general manager of Australian Aerial Patrol (AAP), has been questioned by police over an attempt by an international drug syndicate to use the charity to launder the proceeds of crime.

The AAP — a shark spotting and emergency service which has operated on the New South Wales south coast for more than 50 years — is being investigated by police and government authorities for hundreds of thousands of dollars which allegedly cannot be accounted for.

Just two weeks ago the Aerial Patrol’s main sponsor, Bendigo Bank, withdrew funding after the resignation of the chief pilot and engineer.

Both claim they have not been paid. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority then grounded the entire fleet.

Mr Mitchell said he had a new chief pilot and was back in operation.

The charity has been facing financial difficulties for sometime.

But in early 2014 Mr Mitchell and the AAP board thought their financial woes were over when a consortium of businessmen, including pilot Bernhard Stevermuer, offered $1.5 million for the aircraft training and engineering side of the business.

A deposit of $750,000 was made.

Before the remaining money could be paid, the Middle Eastern Organised Crime (MEOC) squad arrested Stevermuer, who was charged and found guilty for his part in an international drug syndicate accused of flying drugs into Australia.

There is no suggestion that Mr Mitchell is part of the consortium or knew anything about the drug syndicate.

But police allege the $750,000 deposit was laundered through AAP and is money from the proceeds of crime.

The NSW Crime Commission has issued Mr Mitchell with a court order restraining the $750,000.

“The money has all been used. It’s all gone.” Mr Mitchell told the ABC.

Some AAP board members recently hired a forensic accountant to find out where the money went and why the organisation was in such financial trouble.

According to the report, Mr Mitchell paid for repairs and maintenance on his personal properties with charity funds.

He allegedly abused his fuel card and allegedly made suspect superannuation payments onto his American Express card.

General manager paid for work ‘he didn’t do’

As part of Mr Mitchell’s job to promote the shark patrol, he was paid by the charity to do traffic reports on local radio. He stopped doing the traffic reports in 2008 but he did not stop charging the charity.

“For about eight years he hasn’t been providing those traffic reports, but he has been paid a total amount of $127,000 for work he didn’t do,” Graham Pike, a former advisor to the board, said.

Now the Australian Taxation Office is allegedly chasing Mr Mitchell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“We are dealing with that at the moment,” Mr Mitchell responded.

He also denied wrongdoing concerning the charity’s finances.

“I am not the treasurer. I didn’t have access to funds. I wasn’t the signatory. I didn’t have access to any of that,” Mr Mitchell explained.

But treasurer John Weston disputed that.

“That is far from the truth. He has obviously had his other people like his bookkeeper and other signatories on the accounts to do his work,” he said.

The two signatories on the accounts were contacted by the ABC but did not want to respond.

Councils had ‘no idea’ how many patrols were done

The number of shark patrols — which is what the AAP gets its donation for — has also apparently dropped off.

In the financial year of 2013, the shark patrol received $545,000 dollars in donations and income, but flight logs show just $15,000 was spent on aerial shark spotting.

A former staff member contacted the sponsors — who are mainly made of local councils including Wollongong, Shoalhaven and Kiama councils — to let them know that the patrols were being done ad hoc but received no response.

“Councils were giving money with absolutely no idea of how many patrols were being done. They had no Service Level Agreements in place and didn’t seem to care too much,” the source told the ABC.

Wollongong City Council told the ABC it was reviewing its funding and the principal sponsor, Bendigo Bank, has walked from its relationship with Australian Aerial Patrol.

The Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad, the local Illawarra police and the NSW Crime Commission are continuing their investigations.

The ABC also understands the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) were informed that Australia’s most famous shark patrol charity was in a parlous state and needed to be investigated.

The ACNC declined to comment.


Cancer-suffering pilot sentenced to jail over drug importation flight into Wollongong

Updated 22 May 2015, 5:36pm

A pilot has been sentenced to nine months in jail for taking part in an international drug ring by flying a small plane thought to have been carrying drugs into Australia.

Wollongong father Bernhard Stevermuer, 43, pleaded guilty in February after a plane was raided by police at Illawarra Regional Airport last July, following a Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad investigation into drug supply in the Sydney metropolitan area.

Police said Stevermuer had $70,000 in cash, his payment for flying the plane from the United States across the Pacific.

Stevermuer’s lawyer Mark Savicunsuccessfully argued that his cancer-suffering client took part in the deal because of his love of flying and wanting to secure his family’s finances.

Mr Savic said Stevermuer’s prognosis was that he had a 10 per cent survival rate over the next five years, but he was in remission.

He said “the excitement of flying a light aircraft all the way from the US back to Australia was a huge inducement in itself”.

“His love of flying caused him to be blind,” Mr Savic said.

Mr Savic described his client as a trustworthy, generous man who had contributed significantly to the aviation community.

Stevermuer admitted to the judge in a letter that he “thought it was too good to be true”, while another document tendered quoted his wife as saying he had an “ostrich-like stance”.

Sentencing magistrate in Port Kembla Local Court, Michael Stoddard, said Stevemuer may have been naive initially but said he “continued on dealing with these people and these serious offences that occurred”.

“One would wonder why he would put himself, particularly given the submissions made in relation to his family, why he would put these people in the position that he has,” hesaid.

Stevemuer’s lawyer argued he should receive a community service order or non-custodial sentence.

But the magistrate said that would be totally inappropriate and jailed Stevemuer until at least February 2016.

Stevermuer launched an immediate appeal against the sentence and has been granted bail ahead of a hearing.

 

 

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.


 

Mother confesses to murder of her daughter Sanaya Sahib


What a tragic situation, the precious little Sanaya who was abducted has been found in the creek nearby.Anyone who could do that needs to be locked up and the key thrown away!

Update : Taking an awful shift with investigators actions.Sadly this could become some else all together. I hope not


THE mother of 14-month-old Sanaya Sahib has confessed to the murder of her toddler after she was charged by homicide detectives earlier today.

5.01pm MOTHER CHARGED WITH MURDER

Post mortem reveals Sanaya Sahib was smothered


IT HAS been revealed that an ambulance was called a week before the murder of toddler Sanaya Sahib because the little girl had suffered a seizure.

Sanaya’s body was found in a creek early Sunday hours after her mother Sofina Nikat claims a shoeless African man smelling of alcohol abducted her 15-month-old daughter while she was walking with her in Melbourne’s Olympic Park on Saturday afternoon.

A post mortem is expected to show she died of smothering, however police media said the results have not been finalised.

Meanwhile, her uncle Habib Ali has told the Herald Sun an ambulance was called to his Heidelberg West home, where the mother and daughter had been staying, a week before her murder because Sanaya suffered a seizure.

Mr Ali dismissed the episode as “nothing really”, but paramedics were worried the seizure had been triggered through a lack of oxygen via smothering, the Herald Sun reported.

Sanaya Sahib, 15 months, with her mother Sofina Nikat. Picture Facebook

Sanaya Sahib, 15 months, with her mother Sofina Nikat. Picture Facebook Source:Supplied

Sanaya Sahib. Picture: Facebook

Sanaya Sahib. Picture: Facebook Source:Supplied

Memorial for 15 month old baby Sanaya Sahib, murdered at Darebin Creek.

Memorial for 15 month old baby Sanaya Sahib, murdered at Darebin Creek.Source:News Corp Australia

Habib Ali, brother of Sofina Nikat and uncle of Sanaya Sahib. Picture: Hamish Blair

Habib Ali, brother of Sofina Nikat and uncle of Sanaya Sahib. Picture: Hamish BlairSource:News Corp Australia

Police have not commented on what — if anything — was captured on CCTV cameras located have near the park where the abduction took place.

No independent witnesses have come forward to confirm the 22-year-old mother’s account. She is being kept in an undisclosed location and hasn’t yet been interviewed by homicide squad detectives.

She is said to be “hysterical”.

Ms Nikat gave chase after the alleged abductor but then returned home with the stroller.

Mr Ali told media outside his home Sanaya “didn’t deserve” what happened to her. She’s such a cute little kid … I don’t know why this happened. Whoever done it, shame on him, he is a coward.”

Ms Nikat and Sanaya had been living with Mr Ali after she split with Sameer Sahib, Sanaya’s father.

He said Ms Nikat was shocked and “crying a lot”.

“She doesn’t know what to do or what’s going on, obviously.” He said the family still did not know what had happened to Sanaya or how she died.

Darebin Creek, where Sanaya’s body was found early on Sunday morning.

Darebin Creek, where Sanaya’s body was found early on Sunday morning.Source:News Corp Australia

He said the family had a lot of sympathy for Mr Sahib, who is struggling to understand what has happened.

Fairfax reported on Tuesday two men that Sanaya had contact with in recent days were facing serious criminal charges, including family violence and assault.

Victoria Police have not commented officially on the inquiry for almost 24 hours, other than to confirm no arrests had been made. But according to The Age, detectives were expected to investigate the links the men had to the slain toddler.

The tributes for Sanaya continued last night with soccer players from Heidelberg United Football Club last night observing a minute’s silence for Sanaya before their match against Port Melbourne.

Dozens of people have also left flowers and cards for the toddler near the creek where her body was found.

One crying woman said she didn’t know the family bit couldn’t believe something so tragic could happen in their community.

“RIP sweetheart. So very sorry for your family, our heart breaks with them,” read one of the many cards left alongside a soft pink toy.

—additional reporting: AAP


Update 10am 11/04/16

Police make desperate appeal for information about toddler Sanaya Sahib’s death

Police have made a desperate appeal for information as they hunt for the person responsible for the death of Melbourne toddler Sanaya Sahib.

The 15-month-old girl’s body was found in Darebin Creek, Heidelberg West, in the early hours of Sunday.

Sanaya’s mother, Sofina Nikat, 22, said her daughter was snatched by a stranger from her pram.

Police have searched a home in Heidelberg West where Ms Nikat had been staying.

On Sunday afternoon, police were seen searching through bins and leaving with forensics bags.

It is understood Ms Nikat is helping police with their inquiries.

Police said the only suspect is the attacker, described as a barefoot man with dark skin between the ages of 20 and 30.

He was wearing black pants and a black zipper top, and smelled heavily of alcohol, police said.

Detectives are investigating all possibilities and will today doorknock streets in Melbourne’s north-east.

The body was found just before 3:00am Sunday by a local family who had once lost a child and wanted to assist.

Heidelberg West residents left a floral tribute near the scene, which is less than a kilometre away from the Northland shopping centre.

The Mayor of the City of Banyule, Craig Langdon, said the community was grieving.

“I know the area well enough to know the area will be grieving greatly because it’s a very close community,” he said.

“My thoughts are with the family. It would be a tragic loss to any family, to find a child like that in the Darebin Creek, I can not imagine the grief they’re going through.”

Mr Langdon said counselling would be made available through the council to anyone who needs it.

No charges have been laid over Sanaya’s death.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out on the body.

Any witnesses have been urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

Body found in search for toddler missing from Olympic Park, Heidelberg West

ANTHONY GALLOWAY AND DAVID HURLEY Herald Sun

THE GRIEVING mum of toddler Sanaya Shaib has left her home as investigators continue to hunt for the 15-month-old’s killer.

The police forensics team are now searching a home address of the mother of the dead toddler. They have been joined by members of the homicide division. Forensics Police said they were expected to stay at the house for several hours.

Local residents paid tribute to the 15-month-old with flowers and teddy bears near where her body was found.

Forensic police have started their search of the house by checking discarded rubbish near the property and in the back garden.

Homicide Squad detectives were investigating after the discovery of the body at Heidelberg West this morning. The body was found in the Darebin Creek by four people searching together, about 2.45am.

Earlier police said the only suspect in the toddler’s death is described to be a man of African appearance, between the ages of 20 and 30, six-feet-tall, wearing black pants, a black hooded zipper top, no shoes and smelling heavily of liquor.

Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey said parents in the area should be alert and mindful of what they do.

“This is obviously extremely concerning for Victoria Police if this is a random abduction,” he said.

“We think it’s completely random at this point in time.

“We need to be careful and alert, given what’s taken place at this present time.”

The warning comes after the body of a child, believed to be that of Sanaya, was found in a creek in Melbourne’s north-east at 2:45am this morning.

The body was found by a family of four, including a child, who were searching for the girl after seeing a Facebook post requesting help from volunteers.

The family, who had also lost a child in the past whom they later found alive and well, found the toddler partially submerged as they were walking along the western side of Darebin Creek. The child will be taken back to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine for a postmortem today.

Sanaya Shaib with her mother Sofina Nikat. Picture: Supplied.

Sanaya Shaib with her mother Sofina Nikat. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied

Sanaya was abducted from her pram in Olympic Park yesterday. Senior Sergeant Bailey said the toddler’s mother, Sofina Nikat, noticed the suspect walking towards her around 10:10am.

“That male has then folded behind her and has then pushed her to the ground, taken the child from the pram and run in a south-westerly direction on the eastern side of Darebin Creek, and crossed over a footbridge that takes you to the Northland Shopping Centre area and then pershaps towards Wood St,” he said.

“Once the child has been abducted, she (the mother) has chased the offender for a short period of time, realised she wasn’t making any ground there, so she has returned back to her home with the stroller and notified authorities there.

“We notified both the mother and father at 6:45am this morning (that the body had been found) and they are obviously in an extremely distressed state.”

Police don’t know how long the body had been in the creek.

A body has been found on the banks of Darebin creek. Picture: David Crosling

A body has been found on the banks of Darebin creek. Picture: David CroslingSource:News Corp Australia

EARLIER

Crews armed with torches scoured Darebin Creek in Heidelberg West until late last night. Ms Nikat was assisting police, but they stressed she was not being held in custody.

Inspector Paul Tymms urged anyone who knew the location of the child to come forward. He said authorities were hopeful Sanaya was still alive.

Ms Nikat’s older brother, Habib Ali, said the family had been supporting the young mother after she ­recently separated from her partner. He said his sister had taken an unsettled Sanaya out for a walk but ­returned home soon after with dirt on her clothing.

Mr Ali said: “She came screaming and crying, she said, ‘Somebody’s snatched my baby’. She was mumbling out of ­control.

“I just pray to God that whoever’s done this, please ­return the baby.”

The mother’s family claimed her daughter had been snatched from her pram at a popular park in Melbourne’s northeast.

Inspector Paul Tymms confirmed on Saturday evening that the disappearance was being treated as suspicious.

Sanaya’s uncle Habib Ali told the Herald Sun his sister had been hysterical when she arrived home from a walk without the baby.

“I’m devastated,” Mr Aly said. “This is shocking … why would anyone want to hurt this little girl?

“We just don’t know what to do.”

Sanaya and her mother were visiting Mr Aly’s Heidelberg West home for the day, he said.

He said his sister told family that as they sat down on a park bench she noticed a man watching her.

“She said someone was standing and watching her … but she didn’t make anything of it,” Mr Aly said.

The man then undid the clips in the toddler’s pram, picked up the girl and ran away toward Northland shopping centre, Mr Ali said he’d been told.

Next-door neighbour Melynda Smith said the family were quiet and she had not heard any disturbances.

“We’re just terrified,” Ms Smith said.

“We are shaken up over the situation.

“You hear it in other states, you hear it in other countries … you don’t expect it to happen in your own backyard.”

She said the family was close and had hosted Sanaya’s first birthday party at Mr Aly’s Perth St home.

“They support each other,” Ms Smith said.

“I always see the mother out walking with her, getting fresh air … they are always spending time with the bub and the bub is never out of the mum’s sight.

“She is a very well cared for and looked after little girl.”

Mr Aly said he and his family had been supporting his sister through her separation from her partner, who lived in Hallam.

He said his sister and Sanaya had been staying in Mitcham but visited his home regularly.

The toddler was last seen wearing a short-sleeved white top with pink and yellow hearts, koala print pants, socks, and a black necklace with an oval locket.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

andrea.hamblin@news.com.au


 

12.16pm 10/04/16

A toddler who was found dead in a creek in Melbourne’s north-east this morning was snatched from a pram while walking with her mother in a park yesterday, homicide detectives say.

Police said 15-month-old girl Sanaya Sahib, who had been missing since yesterday morning, was found in Darebin Creek in Heidelberg West by four people searching together just before 3:00am.

Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey said the toddler was with her 22-year-old mother, Sofina Nikat from Mitcham, at Olympic Park about 10:00am, when the little girl was grabbed and taken.

“[Ms Nikat] noticed a male walking towards her, that male has folded in behind her and has then pushed her to the ground, has taken the child from the pram and run in a south-westerly direction on the eastern side of Darebin Creek,” he said.

“He crossed over a footbridge that then takes you into the Northland Shopping Centre area and perhaps towards Woods Street.

“This is obviously extremely concerning for Victoria Police if this is a random abduction.”

Detective Senior Sergeant Bailey said police believed it was a random attack.

The man has been described as between 20 and 30 years of age, about six feet tall with short dark hair and not wearing shoes.

Police said he was wearing black pants and a black zipper top.

They said he had dark skin and smelt heavily of alcohol.

Detective Senior Sergeant Bailey said Ms Nikat had tried to chase the man, but was unable to and returned to her friend’s home and contacted police.

He said authorities had worked hard to find the girl when she was reported missing, but she was found in the early hours by a local family who had once lost a child and wanted to assist.

Police said clothing on the body found in the creek matched that reported on the missing toddler.

Heidelberg West residents Michelle and Faye left a floral tribute near the scene and said they knew of the family.

“I just wanted to put flowers for the baby,” Michelle said.

“I couldn’t sleep knowing she was out here somewhere.

“I was hoping she was alive.”

Anyone who saw the incident has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers.

From other news sites:

http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2016/04/10/body-found-in-search-for-missing-toddler.html#ooid=FwOXJwMjE6J1zstYobPFuToZCYxBx0bN

Vic kidnapped girl’s body found in creek | SBS News

A toddler who was snatched from her pram in a Melbourne park has been found dead in a nearby creek.

Police say 15-month-old Sanaya Sahib was with her mother at Olympic Park in Heidelberg West about 10am on Saturday when she was grabbed by a man who smelt strongly of alcohol and was not wearing shoes.

Sofina Nikat, 22, told officers she was pushed to the ground by the man, who ran off with her daughter towards a nearby shopping centre.

Ms Nikat gave chase but when she realised she couldn’t catch him, she raced home to alert police.

She never saw the face of the man, who is described as being of African appearance, between 20 and 30 years old and about six feet tall.

The toddler’s body was found in Darebin Creek just before 3am on Sunday by a family of four who had seen social media posts about her disappearance and wanted to help.

The family, who had once lost a child who had later been found, spent the night looking for little Sanaya.

Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey said it wasn’t known how long the body had been in the water.

“It is obviously extremely concerning for Victoria Police if this is a random abduction,” he told reporters at the scene on Sunday.

“We need to be careful, alert, given what’s taken place at this present time, but we’ll wait and see how the investigation unfolds.”

He appealed for anyone who saw the incident, the child or her blue and yellow pram to come forward.

It’s believed Sanaya and her mother, from Mitcham, were staying with friends in Heidelberg West near the former 1956 Olympic Village following a separation from the tot’s father.

A large orange tarpaulin was erected on Sunday morning around a part of the creek where the girl’s body was found.

An air ambulance hovered above as police, positioned at the southern end of Northland shopping centre, diverted traffic, cyclists and pedestrians from the area.

Sanaya’s tiny body, on a large stretcher, was later taken away by forensic police.

Both parents have been helping police and are said to be extremely distressed.

The tot is yet to be formally identified and a post-mortem examination will be carried out later on Sunday.


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