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Court told sport and recreation manager defrauded Ballarat Council of more than $130,000

Court told sport and recreation manager defrauded Ballarat Council of more than $130,000
December 15, 2016

A former Ballarat Council manager allegedly defrauded the city of $130,610 with the help of his partner, and solicited thousands of dollars in secret commissions, court documents have revealed.

Lukas Peter Carey, of the Bendigo suburb of Golden Square, has been charged with 42 deception related offences and soliciting secret commissions during his employment as Ballarat City Council's Manager of Sport and Recreation, a role he held from August 2012 to November 2015.

The 39-year-old appeared in the Ballarat Magistrates Court today (15th December) with his partner, Jasmine Carol Finnigan, who stands accused of 14 charges.

Carey is accused of awarding council contracts to Finnigan's company, Cross Court Leisure Planning.

Finnigan is accused of lying about her identity to the City of Ballarat so it would pay invoices to the company.

The charges have been brought by Victoria's anti-corruption watchdog, the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC).

Carey is also accused of corruptly soliciting up to $29,245 of secret commissions between 2013 and 2015 for awarding contracts to Derryn Mark Ladson, of Ladson Building Services, and well-known Bendigo cycling identity Rik McCaigh.

It is alleged Carey was paid by Ladson for a range of council jobs, including occupational health and safety inspections and assessments of:

• The demolition of the Wendouree swimming pool;
• The Miners Rest Court project;
• The close of season at the Black Hill, Brown Hill and Buninyong pools;
• Off-season pool structure checks at Black Hill, Brown Hill, Buninyong and Eureka pools;
• Skate parks and lawn bowl sites at Webconna and Western Oval; and
• Victoria Park, Russell Square, City Oval buildings and checks at Brown Hill and Buninyong Pools.

Carey is alleged to have solicited secret commissions McCaigh for a number of contracts, including:

• Reviewing the City of Ballarat's cycling strategy;
• Reviewing the city of Ballarat BMX infrastructure and consultation on the Crossing Borders Active Transport review;
• Consulting on a cycling event plan for the Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club; and
• Conducting a criterium document preparation and review.

McCaig, of Bendigo, has been charged with four offences, all in relation to allegedly paying secret commissions to Carey.

Ladson, of Marong, has been charged with paying secret commissions and charging the City of Ballarat for amounts greater than the value of his work.

The parties will return to court in February.

Lukas 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)

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3rd October 2015 - CITY OF BALLARAT UNDERTAKES SURVEY TO BACK ACTIVE WOMEN AND GIRLS STRATEGY

18th June 2015 - VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT BACKS STADIUM UPGRADES IN BALLARAT AND BENDIGO

4th September 2014 - BALLARAT RESIDENTS ENCOURAGED TO MAKE POSITIVE CHANGES ABOUT THEIR WELLBEING


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