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Former Surf Life Saving NSW executive charged over $2.7 million fraud
Former Surf Life Saving NSW General Manager Matthew Hanks has been arrested over an alleged multi-million-dollar fraud against the charity.
Hanks aged 50, presented himself this morning to NSW Police who are investigating a $2.7 million fraud and has subsequently been charged with 50 offences.
NSW Police will allege stole the money over a 10-year period starting in 2006 to fund a luxury assets and lifestyle purchases including a $490,000 yacht called Matadore.
Hanks was this afternoon charged with seven counts of obtaining money by deception and 48 counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception.
NSW Police acting Detective Superintendent Richard Puffer said Surf Life Saving NSW had reported the alleged fraud to police after discovering "some anomalies" in accounts.
He told the ABC that the fraud "was complex, sustained and quite brazen.
"A lot of the funds were put into assets ... other funds were spent on lifestyle."
Hanks is accused of siphoning funds using a false printing company, along with the purchase of new vehicles through inflated invoices.
Surf Life Saving NSW confirmed in a statement that a former staffer had been arrested.
The statement advised "SLSNSW welcomes the charges laid today against the former senior manager, after cooperating with the NSW Police for the last three years with their investigations.
"SLSNSW is awaiting the outcome of criminal proceedings involving a former senior member of staff who is alleged to have fraudulently obtained a large sum of money from the organisation before resigning in July 2016.
"Over the course of the investigation SLSNSW has kept members and stakeholders fully informed and we thank our members, partners and the community for their ongoing support during this difficult period."
NSW Police investigators began probing reports of an employee misappropriating charity funds in 2017.
Detective Puffer said the man acted alone and benefited personally from the alleged fraud.
He said there were concurrent civil proceedings underway involving the man and his assets would be investigated.
Image: Matthew Hanks, courtesy Surf Life Saving NSW.
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16th June 2019 - NSW Police investigate missing millions at Surf Life Saving NSW
1st February 2019 - Surf Lifesaving NSW raises water safety awareness with pop-up beach
19th January 2018 - Australian lifesaving drone in world first ocean rescue
5th June 2017 - Former NSW events minister ‘Sir Lunchalot’ jailed for 10 years
10th June 2015 - Surf Life Saving NSW offer EOFY deal on Laerdal defibrillators
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