Three federal public servants have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the government, the Australian Federal Police has revealed.
The AFP on Thursday announced police would allege the men “conspired to direct information technology contracts through preferred suppliers”, leading them to receive financial benefits.
The men will appear before the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday.
A 47-year-old Griffith man and a 50-year-old Palmerston man have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth and abuse of public office. A 36-year-old Barton man is charged with conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth.
An investigation was undertaken by AFP Northern Command’s Fraud and Anti-Corruption Team after the Department of Finance made a report to the AFP in July 2019.
In cooperation with Finance, investigators issued seven search warrants yesterday in the Canberra suburbs of Griffith, Barton, Narrabundah, Amaroo, Palmerston, and Forrest.
AFP deputy commissioner Ian McCartney said fraud was “not a victimless crime”, and the AFP was committed to the investigation.
“This is a complex investigation, involving the analysis of a significant volume of information,” he said.
“This includes substantial information referred to the AFP by the Department of Finance, and investigators will continue to conduct financial enquiries to ensure we have a complete understanding of this matter.”
The maximum penalty for defrauding the Commonwealth is 10 years imprisonment, and five years for abuse of office.