CSIRO fraudster sentenced to prison

By Melissa Coade

Monday June 13, 2022

ACT Supreme Court
The ACT Supreme Court handed the man a two-year sentence on Saturday. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

A 48-year-old Canberra man and former public servant who used his corporate credit card to purchase a jet-ski and two vehicles has been sentenced to at least 12 months in prison.

An internal audit conducted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) altered the government agency to the illegal purchases, made between 2012 and 2017.

The CSIRO employee used the corporate credit card to buy a gym membership and a long list of household items.

The AFP searched the man’s home in July 2017, unearthing a trove of personal items that were illegally purchased. Among the items seized were a jet-ski, two vehicles, a home security system, bicycles, power tools, electronics, gardening tools and whitegoods.

In a statement, AFP Acting Superintendent Tessa Giumelli said that when a public official misused taxpayer funds in this way, it was a serious breach of public trust. 

“Defrauding the Commonwealth prevents public funds from being used to support the wider Australian community,” Giumelli said.

Last September, the offender entered a plea of guilty to two counts of dishonestly causing a loss to a commonwealth entity and using a forged document.

The ACT Supreme Court handed the man a two-year sentence on Saturday. He will be released from prison on a good behaviour bond after serving 12 months of his sentence. 

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