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Ballarat Council Sport and Recreation Manager pleads guilty in fraud case
Former Ballarat Council Sport and Recreational Manager Lukas Peter Carey and his wife have pleaded guilty to series of fraud offences relating to his work at the Council.
Carey had been charged with eight offences, including obtaining financial advantage by deception and soliciting secret commissions.
His wife, Jasmine Finnigan, had been charged with two counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception.
The pair entered pleas of guilty to the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission charges at Ballarat Magistrates Court late last month.
The Court was told Carey allocated consultation work to and authorised payment on behalf of the Ballarat City Council to his friends and wife totaling $184,123 over a two-year period.
Court documents showed that in one incident, between 30th August and 22nd October last year, Carey allegedly obtained $11,485 for himself and Finnigan through allocating a contract of employment and authorising the payment of the contract to Cross Court Leisure Planning, contrary to the terms of his employment.
In another incident, Carey allegedly obtained a further $14,900 after he allocated another contract of employment and authorised the payment of the contract to Cross Court Leisure Planning between June and July last year.
Magistrate Gregory Robinson refused a summary jurisdiction application for the couple’s plea hearings to be held in the Magistrates Court.
He described Carey and Finnigan’s offending as “quite serious fraud against the City of Ballarat” and he used a position of trust to take a large amount of public money for himself.
In refusing Carey’s summary jurisdiction application, Magistrate Robinson said Carey could be “regarded as the rotten apple who has affected the rest of the bunch”, referring to Carey’s co-accused, adding “he stands at the top of the tree.”
Magistrate Robinson said he accepted Finnigan was in a different situation and her sentence would be less severe.
The Magistrate stated “Mr Carey and Ms Finnigan continued with their dishonesty and it’s not until now they have accepted responsibility for their offending.”
The court was told, despite having no expertise, Finnigan was contracted to provide discussion papers on various matters, including croquet and strategies.
The court was told Carey and Finnigan did not disclose their relationship in order for her to be contracted the work and she went by the name ‘Carole’.
Prosecutor Lachlan Cameron said the offending was a breach of trust with council employees and the community.
The pair’s plea hearing will be held in the County Court at Ballarat when the circuit starts on 22nd August.
Carey presented on, and led a site tour of, the Ballarat Soccer Facility at the 2015 Parks and Leisure Australia Victoria/Tasmania Conference.
Image: Jasmine Finnigan and Lukas Carey were each charged with numerous offences by IBAC. (Supplied)
6th February 2017 - FORMER PARRAMATTA EELS MANAGER JASON IRVINE CHARGED WITH FRAUD OFFENCES
16th September 2016 - PARKS VICTORIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE SACKED OVER ‘INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR’
3rd October 2015 - CITY OF BALLARAT UNDERTAKES SURVEY TO BACK ACTIVE WOMEN AND GIRLS STRATEGY
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