In the last quarter, prosecutions arising from IBAC’s Operations Royston, Yarrowitch, Apsley and Fitzroy have continued to expose the impact of corrupt conduct in the public sector and the consequences for people involved.
Operation Fitzroy – IBAC investigation into alleged serious corruption in the former Department of Transport and Public Transport Victoria
In April 2017, Albert Ooi was sentenced to eight years jail with a non-parole period of six years, after pleading guilty to conspiring to defraud the State of Victoria, and another charge of receiving a secret commission in awarding works contracts during his employment with Public Transport Victoria, the Department of Transport and the Department of Infrastructure. An order to repay $2.3 million was also made. Mr Ooi is appealing his sentence.
Barry Wells has recently entered a plea of guilty to conspiracy to defraud and receiving secret commissions. His plea hearing starts in August 2017.
Operation Royston – IBAC investigation into allegations of corrupt procurement transactions at the City of Ballarat Council
In March 2017, Rik McCaig, who was accused of giving a council employee $8000 in return for being awarded contracts, pleaded guilty at Ballarat Magistrates Court. After a successful summary jurisdiction application, Mr McCaig was found guilty without conviction. He was fined $8000 and sentenced to 200 hours of community work.
In June 2017, Derryn Ladson also pleaded guilty before Ballarat Magistrates Court and was found guilty without conviction, and fined $15,000. Mr Ladson admitted to paying $21,245 in secret commissions to a council employee.
Former Ballarat City Council officer, Lukas Peter Carey and his wife, Jasmine Finnigan, were also investigated as part of Operation Royston. In a hearing at Ballarat Magistrates Court in June 2017, the couple pleaded guilty to fraud. Mr Carey was charged with 55 offences later rolled up into eight charges, including obtaining financial advantage by deception and soliciting secret commissions. Ms Finnigan was charged with 14 offences rolled up into two charges of obtaining and attempting to obtain financial advantage by deception.
The court was told Mr Carey allocated consulting work on behalf of Ballarat City Council to his friends and wife over a two-year period and authorised payments to them totalling $184,123.
Mr Carey and Ms Finnigan will have their pleas heard in a higher jurisdiction, the County Court, when the circuit begins in Ballarat on 22 August 2017.
Operation Yarrowitch – IBAC investigation into alleged use of illicit drugs by Victoria Police members
Victoria Police member First Constable Jacqueline Rogash appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on 26 July 2017. She pleaded guilty to one charge of perjury regarding answers given during two private examinations before IBAC. She was convicted, placed on an 18 month Community Corrections Order and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work.
Operation Apsley – IBAC investigation into alleged drug trafficking involving Victoria Police officers
In June 2017, Senior Constable Sheree Cocks pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court to one charge of inciting another to mislead IBAC. Cocks was convicted and fined $5000.