Australia

Department of Communities corruption investigation uncovers another alleged accomplice

Department of Communities corruption investigation uncovers another alleged accomplice

The investigation into corruption at the WA Department of Communities has uncovered a third alleged accomplice of former executive Paul Whyte.

Mr Whyte will have more charges added to the 530 he pleaded guilty to after his role in a $22 million rort – Western Australia's biggest ever case of public sector theft – was discovered.

Paul Whyte was charged over what has been touted as one of the worst cases of public corruption in the country.

Paul Whyte was charged over what has been touted as one of the worst cases of public corruption in the country.Credit:Nine News Perth

WA Police will allege a 57-year-old-man entered into an arrangement with Mr Whyte, and have charged both the East Fremantle man and Mr Whyte with 16 counts of Public Officer Acts Corruptly.

Under that arrangement, police allege the man created a company and submitted 16 fraudulent invoices between February 2017 and June 2018, which it will be further alleged were approved for payment by Mr Whyte.

WA Police spokesman Samuel Dinnison said the man was charged with the offences despite not being a WA government employee, because he was party to the offence committed by a public officer.

Each individual invoice was for between $24,000 and $25,000 and totalled $393,156.50. No work was
undertaken in return for the payments, police said.

Mr Whyte is accused of working with physiotherapist Jacob Anthonisz, 43, to raise false invoices for three shell companies dating back to 2008, while bookkeeper Paola Colangelo, 45, has pleaded not guilty to nine counts of corruption over her alleged role in the scandal. Mr Anthonisz has not yet been required to plead.

The East Fremantle man was was arrested last week and is due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court on Thursday, July 30.

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