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  1. #1
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    Australian Federal MP Craig Thomson arrested by fraud squad

    Craig Thomson arrested by fraud squad
    Date January 31, 2013 - 3:32PM

    Kate McClymont
    Senior Reporter


    Members of the NSW fraud squad on Thursday executed an arrest warrant on behalf of the Victorian Fraud and Extortion Squad.

    Victorian detectives flew to Sydney this morning where they accompanied NSW police to Mr Thomson's Central Coast electorate office. He was arrested about 1pm.


    In a statement, NSW Police said Mr Thomson was arrested at about 1pm and was charged by virtue of the arrest warrant with a fraud offence.

    A further 149 fraud charges are expected to be laid against the 48-year-old when he appears in Wyong Local Court. NSW Police said Victorian detectives are expected to apply for Mr Thomson's extradition to Victoria.

    The Victorian police have spent almost 18 months investigating claims that Mr Thomson improperly used Health Services Union funds to spend on prostitutes, air travel, entertainment and cash withdrawals in excess of $100,000.


    Former Labor now independent MP Craig Thomson has been arrested. Photo: Nick Moir
    In October last year police raided Mr Thomson's Bateau Bay home as well as his electorate office.

    They took away large boxes of material.

    Mr Thomson was national secretary of the HSU from 2002 until 2007 when he was elected to Parliament. Earlier last year he was suspended from the ALP and has been sitting as an independent in Parliament since that time.

    The head of the NSW Fraud Squad, Detective Superintendent Col Dyson, will address the media at 3.30pm.

    Mr Thomson, who has continued to maintain his innocence, is expected to apply for bail. He is also facing civil proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia relating to allegations that he improperly used union funds for his own benefit.

    Arrest raises questions of 'judgment' for PM

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was alerted to the news about Mr Thomson during the question and answer session of his National Press Club address.

    "We have certainly respected, or tried to respect, the rule that you do not comment on the specifics of cases which are currently before the courts and we will respect that rule," Mr Abbott said.

    But the Opposition Leader said the matter raised questions about the judgment of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who he claimed ran a "protection racket" for Mr Thomson.

    He said the opposition would continue to pursue those judgment questions.

    Mr Thomson has been suspended from the Labor Party but it would be damaging for the federal government if charges are laid against him.

    Coalition workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz has questioned whether Prime Minister Julia Gillard knew about Mr Thomson's arrest before she announced the election date yesterday.

    "[Ms Gillard might] like to tell us whether she had any pre-warning in relation to this arrest and her decision to call the election date yesterday," Mr Abetz said on ABC TV.

    He said that while it was important "we constrain our comments" while the matter was before the courts, it was right for the Coalition to pursue the question of the Prime Minister's judgment regarding Mr Thomson.

    "She has been acting as the chief defence counsel for Craig Thomson now for a number of years," he said.

    Thomson to plead 'not guilty'

    Trade Minister Craig Emerson would not be drawn on whether the independent MP should stand at the next election.

    "Let the investigative processes continue without political interference," he told Sky News, adding that Mr Thomson was entitled to the presumption of innocence.

    "There has been no finding of guilt against Mr Thomson."

    Mr Thomson's lawyer, Chris McArdle slammed the process of the arrest and said his client would plead "not guilty" to all of the charges.

    "The rule of law has been supplanted by reality television and a circus," he told Sky News on Thursday.

    "This fellow is innocent and will maintain that innocence throughout."

    Mr McArdle was scathing that there was a television camera crew outside Mr Thomson's house and office since 7am when Mr Thomson did not know of his arrest until 1pm."He has been taken completely by surprise."

    He also questioned the number of police that came to arrest the independent MP.

    "It took five policemen to arrest him. [Mr Thomson] must be a karate expert and I didn't realise that," he said.

    Mr McArdle said that Mr Thomson would be notified to appear in a Melbourne court next week but that client had not been extradited.

    "He's done nothing wrong," he said.

    Earlier, Mr Thomson said speculation he may be arrested on fraud charges ''could be right''.

    ''Let’s wait and see,'' he told AAP.

    ''[The media report] could be right.'' He said he did not intend to make any public comments at this point but ''if something develops today we’ll certainly be making some comments''.

    Mr Thomson has strenuously denied allegations he misused union funds to pay for prostitutes, air travel, entertainment and cash withdrawals when he was the HSU national secretary from 2002 to 2007.

    He would be disqualified from Parliament if he was convicted of a criminal offence that carried a jail term of one year or more.

    Victorian police had not contacted him since they raided his home and electorate office on the NSW Central Coast in October last year.

    HSU national president Chris Brown said that the union had received the news about Mr Thomson’s arrest on Thursday, “like everyone else."

    ''Given the investigation that has been under way for well over 12 months, it is probably not surprising that it has got to this stage,'' he told reporters on Thursday.

    ''Craig Thomson has always said he looked forward his day in court. Obviously he will have that opportunity now to try and clear his name. If not, and he’s convicted, for the HSU, it means that the people who have wronged the union will be brought to account. And we look forward to that.''

    Mr Brown, who said he had not talked to Mr Thomson for eight or nine months, did not expect the process to be finalised before the end of the year.

    with Daniel Hurst, Nick Ralston, Judith Ireland



    Read more: Craig Thomson Arrested


    About FUCKING time!

  2. #2
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    Craig Thomson sentenced to 12 months' jail, nine months suspended



    The rise and fall of Craig Thomson
    Former federal MP Craig Thomson has been sentenced to 12 months' jail, with nine months suspended, but walked free from court on bail after lodging an appeal.

    Thomson, 49, was on Tuesday convicted and jailed on 65 charges of fraud and theft for using Health Services Union funds for personal benefit, including paying for sex.

    Former MP Craig Thomson walks from the Melbourne Magistrates court after being granted bail on appeal against the conviction and sentence.
    Former MP Craig Thomson outside the Melbourne Magistrates court after lodging an appeal against his conviction and sentence for fraud. Photo: Jason South
    The nine months was suspended for two years.

    Thomson's legal team launched an immediate appeal against conviction and sentence.

    Less than an hour after he was led into custody, Thomson returned to the dock - without his tie and jacket - and was granted bail.

    Former MP Craig Thomson leaves court after lodging an appeal against his conviction and sentence for fraud. Photo: Jason South JPS

    His appeal will be heard on November 24 in the County Court and is listed to run for 10 days.

    Thomson emerged from the court complex about an hour after being granted bail.

    In a short statement, he said ‘‘today wasn’t what we were looking for’’, but that he had always maintained his innocence.

    He said it was inappropriate for anyone - including media commentators and MPs - to comment on his case while the matter was before the courts.

    He thanked his family and friends, "particularly my wife", and also his ex-wife.

    He said he would be spending time with "my wife and my lawyers, in that order" before his appeal.

    Thomson refused to take questions and left in a taxi.

    The former member for Dobell showed no emotion as the sentence was read out in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday, other than blinking rapidly as magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg imposed his sentence.

    Thomson was found guilty last month of 65 charges of theft and obtaining financial advance by deception in that he misappropriated $24,538.42 of Health Services Union funds while he was the union's national secretary between 2002 and 2007.

    He was also found guilty of using the union funds after he left the HSU and was working as the Labor member for the NSW federal seat of Dobell.

    Mr Rozencwajg described Thomson's offending as brazen, arrogant and displaying a "sense of entitlement". He said the offending displayed a high level of selfishness that showed Thomson was motivated only by greed.

    "Nothing has been put to me to suggest these matters were not committed for anything other than personal greed," he said.

    Mr Rozencwajg said Thomson had shown "blatant dishonesty" in his offending and displayed a breach of trust "of the highest order", given he had been elected to the position of national secretary.

    He took into account Thomson's loss of career and the media intrusion on his life, but said an immediate jail term was the only sentence warranted.

    He also imposed a conviction on 65 charges.

    Outside court, Some of the HSU whistleblowers who helped bring Thomson’s offending to light gave mixed reactions to the sentence.

    HSU secretary Kathy Jackson said she was sad Thomson had to be jailed and was more disappointed the union had failed to detect his offending.

    Ms Jackson also had words with a handful of people, representing the Victorian Health Professionals Association, who were holding placards calling for Thomson to be jailed.

    She said she was ‘‘sickened’’ by campaigns, as protesters had not been supportive of her and other whistleblowers when they first raised the allegations against Thomson.

    Another HSU official, Marco Bolano, said he was personally happy to see Thomson jailed and would have been disappointed had he not been.

    Mr Bolano - the man Thomson accused of setting him up, during his speech to Parliament of 2012 - said he had no interest in receiving an apology from the former federal MP.

    He said he looked forward to the royal commission investigating the sort of union corruption that had protected Thomson and former HSU president Michael Williamson, who is awaiting sentence for rorting the union of almost $1 million.

    The Health Services Union said in a statement on Tuesday that Thomson's sentence ''brings closure to the most difficult period in the national union's history''.

    HSU acting national secretary Chris Brown said Thomson's actions were ''a gross betrayal of the trust placed in him and today's sentence ensures he is punished for that betrayal''.

    ''The HSU national executive has thoroughly reviewed governance procedures and put in place the highest standards possible to prevent this situation occurring again,'' Mr Brown said.

    Thomson used the money to pay for sexual services and travel expenses, cigarettes and firewood for his then wife, Christa. He was also found to have made cash withdrawals from ATMs with the union-issued credit cards.

    But Thomson was found not guilty of charges related to the purchase of in-house movies in hotel rooms while on work trips, and of some charges related to travel expenses for his then wife, Christa.

    Thomson's sentence comes six years after the HSU first discovered the offending, five years after the then allegations were first aired publicly and more than one year after he first fronted a criminal court. He went to trial before Mr Rozencwajg in December last year.

    Thomson's lawyer, Greg James, QC, last week called for his client to be spared a jail term given the public humiliation he had suffered during the past five years, and because a stint in prison would be onerous for a man with depression and other health problems, and a young family.

    Thomson is the father of two young daughters. Mr James said Thomson's career had been ruined and he now had little chance of returning to public life.

    But lead prosecutor Lesley Taylor, SC, said last week that anything less than a jail term would be an inadequate sentence and that he deserved prison for his ''continuous and sustained breach of trust'' and for conduct that had been ''arrogant in the extreme''.

    Thomson had agreed to repay the HSU the money he misappropriated, the court was told last week.

    Thomson lost his seat in last year's election, standing as an independent.



    Read more: Craig Thomson sentenced to 12 months' jail, nine months suspended

  3. #3
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    Is Cleaver Greene defending him?

  4. #4
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    seems odd where you can be found guilty, lodge an appeal, and walk out a free man.

  5. #5
    I am in Jail

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    maybe its was Thai judge, or possibly there going back to there colonial days

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly
    Thomson had agreed to repay the HSU the money he misappropriated, the court was told last week.


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    Another union scum getting what he deserves

    Michael Williamson jailed over 'parasitic plundering' of Health Services Union funds

    By court reporter Jamelle Wells
    Updated 47 seconds ago
    Photo: Prosecutors said Michael Williamson's motivation for defrauding the HSU was greed. (AAP: Dean Lewins)
    Related Story: Williamson apologises as union claims back funds
    Related Story: Former HSU boss Williamson admits fraud offences
    Map: Sydney 2000

    Former Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson has been sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail for fraud.
    The New South Wales District Court was packed as sentencing Judge David Frearson described Williamson as "brazen and arrogant".
    The judge said Williamson was in a position of power when he defrauded the union of nearly $1 million.
    Judge Frearson described Williamson's "parasitic plundering of union funds for pure greed".
    Williamson showed no emotion as he discovered his fate and sat staring at the judge until he was led away.
    The 60-year-old will be eligible for parole after serving five years in prison.
    Williamson had been facing a possible 20 years in jail after pleading guilty to four charges including fraud and recruiting others to hinder a police investigation.
    Prosecutors say Williamson, who was already on a salary of about $500,000, was motivated by greed.
    The court has been told the former Australian Labor Party president submitted false invoices to the union from a company in his wife's name.
    Williamson's lawyers say he has apologised and taken full responsibility for his actions, noting he has also suffered depression since his behaviour was exposed.
    More to come.
    Michael Williamson jailed over 'parasitic plundering' of HSU - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly
    noting he has also suffered depression since his behaviour was exposed.
    It's a bitch of a downer when you're caught...

  9. #9
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    Super Grub is appealing his tiny 3 month sentence

    Craig Thomson lied about prostitutes because he was ?embarrassed?



    Former MP Craig Thomson lied about using a union credit card to pay for prostitutes because he was ashamed, his barrister says.

    Thomson publicly came under attack in 2012 for misusing union funds while national secretary of the Health Services Union. His barrister Greg James QC told an appeal hearing that Thomson was embarrassed by accusations that he’d spent the HSU members’ money on prostitutes and trips to brothels.

    “To rebut that he lies,” Mr James told the Victorian County Court on Tuesday.
    “He was under direct attack for moral turpitude.
    “He was divorcing himself from moral turpitude.

    “He was trying to divert the inquiry from himself for that moral turpitude.” Mr James said Thomson lied in a media interview in 2012 out of embarrassment, not because he believed he’d committed a crime. “That does not establish one way or another a lack of authority, or a belief of a lack of authority,” he said.

    Thomson is appealing his conviction and 12 month jail term, with nine months suspended, for misusing $24,538 while head of the HSU.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Craig Thomson lied about prostitutes because he was ?embarrassed?



    Former MP Craig Thomson lied about using a union credit card to pay for prostitutes because he was ashamed, his barrister says.

    Thomson publicly came under attack in 2012 for misusing union funds while national secretary of the Health Services Union. His barrister Greg James QC told an appeal hearing that Thomson was embarrassed by accusations that he’d spent the HSU members’ money on prostitutes and trips to brothels.

    “To rebut that he lies,” Mr James told the Victorian County Court on Tuesday.
    “He was under direct attack for moral turpitude.
    “He was divorcing himself from moral turpitude.

    “He was trying to divert the inquiry from himself for that moral turpitude.” Mr James said Thomson lied in a media interview in 2012 out of embarrassment, not because he believed he’d committed a crime. “That does not establish one way or another a lack of authority, or a belief of a lack of authority,” he said.

    Thomson is appealing his conviction and 12 month jail term, with nine months suspended, for misusing $24,538 while head of the HSU.
    Serves him right for having Mr Bean to defend him

  11. #11
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    ^

    What amazes me is that these parasites have bints who actually support them.

    Scum has no boundaries

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