Police say Surf Life GM set up dummy print co in $2.7m theft
Police are alleging that former NSW Surf Life Saving general manager Matthew Hanks set up a dummy printing company as part of a decade-long scheme to funnel $2.7m cash to himself.
Hanks allegedly sent all Surf Life Saving print work to the dummy printing company, which would then farm out the actual printing to legitimate companies operating on commercial rates. Police will allege though that Hanks would put a supersonic mark-up on the print jobs, and invoice NSW Surf Life Saving accordingly.
Police allege that Hanks did not use print as his only means of fraud, but also had car dealers send him two invoices for every car bought by Surf Life Saving.
Hanks was arrested in Wollongong yesterday and charged with 55 counts of fraud over a ten year period, which ended three years ago when a new NSW Surf Life Saver staffer queried the accounts. He was bailed to appear in court on 1 October.
The practice of using print businesses to overcharge for invoices with kickbacks to the purchaser has been used on many occasions over the years by various politicians, union leaders and people in positions of trust. Setting up a dummy company though is a new variation on the theme.