ACT Policing’s Criminal Investigations has concluded a complex and detailed investigation over an eight-month period into the alleged defrauding of the Catholic Education Office in Canberra.
As a result of the investigation police have summonsed a 50-year-old Calwell man to appear in the ACT Magistrates Court to answer over 130 fraud-related charges. A Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act restraining order has already been issued for a Calwell residence and funds currently held in a bank account.
Police will allege that the fraudulent activity commenced in 2004 and was discovered due to an anonymous letter being sent to the Catholic Education Office in late 2010. It will also be alleged that over $1.2 million has been embezzled from the organisation through the use of fictitious identities and deceptive financial practices.
During its lengthy investigation, the ACT Policing Fraud Team executed a series of search warrants to establish the criminal conduct and movement of the funds. Investigators were required to seek assistance from financial institutions located overseas as police will allege that part of the funds are no longer held in Australia.
ACT Policing is strongly urging the author of an anonymous letter to the CEO to identify themselves to police. The person can contact police through CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000, via the Crime Stoppers website (www.act.crimestoppers.com.au), or via Police Operations on 131-444.
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The matter will be heard during a special sitting in the ACT Magistrates Court on August 10 2011.