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Former sport and recreation manager jailed in Ballarat Council fraud case

Former sport and recreation manager jailed in Ballarat Council fraud case
May 7, 2018

A former City of Ballarat sport and recreation manager has been jailed for three years for defrauding the council of almost $200,000 between 2013 and 2015.

Lukas Peter Carey, aged 40, and his wife Jasmine Carey, also known as Carol Finnigan, aged 39, orchestrated a kick-back scheme using a sham company, Cross Court Leisure, of which Jasmine Carey was the sole director.

Lukas Carey allocated consultation work to and authorised payment on behalf of the Council to three contractors and his wife totaling $184,123 over a two-year and two-month period.

He was then paid $31,200 in secret commissions.

Lukas Carey also signed off on inflated invoices to three co-accused contractors, including a carpenter, a graphic designer and a sports consultant.

Each agreed to pay secret commissions to the former sport and recreation manager, but denied knowledge of the wider scheme.

The three contractors ultimately escaped conviction.

During a sentencing hearing at the County Court at Ballarat in February, Judge Michael McInerney said Carey was the mastermind of all of the crimes, which he described as a gross breach of trust.

Judge McInerney said Lukas Carey’s offending, which was brought to light after a protected complaint was made to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), was hard to detect.

Judge McInerney stated “it was indeed just that ability to control and protect such activity which make such crimes difficult for the public to detect and difficult for organisations such as councils and public entities to detect within their communities.

“In such circumstances, the prior good character of course loses some of its impact. The fact is without the high standing that Mr Carey had before he took this position of management, he would not have been able to effect these crimes nor would he have been able to have the ability to protect the crimes from detection given the totality of control he had.

“We have therefore serious and sustained criminality by Mr Carey as I say over a period of in excess of two years. Within that criminality is also contained a gross breach of trust not only of the obligations of his employment contract but to the wider people of Ballarat of whom he was employed.

“He has committed crimes which are notoriously hard to detect which require extensive investigation when detected as an example of the inquiries made by IBAC in this matter.”

The Careys entered an early plea of guilty at the Ballarat Magistrates Court in June last year to a combined 10 charges, including obtaining financial advantage by deception.

If Lukas Carey had not plead guilty he would have received five years’ jail with a non-parole period of three years.

He is eligible for parole in one year.

Jasmine Carey was ordered to pay more than $20,000 in compensation to the City of Ballarat, on top of a $3,000 fine by the County Court in Melbourne in March.

Click here to read IBAC's outcomes report on its investigation into Lukas and Jasmine Carey.

Image: Jasmine and Lukas Carey were each charged with numerous offences by IBAC. (Supplied)

27th July 2017 - BALLARAT COUNCIL SPORT AND RECREATION MANAGER PLEADS GUILTY IN FRAUD CASE

20th March 2017 - BALLARAT COUNCIL SPORT AND RECREATION MANAGER TO FACE MORE CHARGES IN FRAUD CASE 

6th February 2017 - FORMER PARRAMATTA EELS MANAGER JASON IRVINE CHARGED WITH FRAUD OFFENCES

15th December 2016 - COURT TOLD SPORT AND RECREATION MANAGER DEFRAUDED BALLARAT COUNCIL OF MORE THAN $130,000

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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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

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