Latest News

Vic printing rort: ‘Nothing to do with us’

Friday, 14 December 2018
By Wayne Robinson

Victoria business F and M Printing told Print21 that an alleged printing rort involving a long-time, just retired, state MP, which has now resulted in charges being laid, is ‘nothing to do with us’, before abruptly ending the call.

Charges have been laid on four people over kickbacks from alleged inflated invoices sent by East Keilor based F and M Printing to the office of former Victorian Labor MP Khalil Eideh.

The money was allegedly used to buy party memberships to fund branch stacking in Eideh’s favour. The amount in question is understood to top $200,000.

Two former staffers of Eideh – who allegedly has linkes to F and M –  are among people charged with 13 counts of fraud, perjury and conspiracy by the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) in the case.

The trio allegedly ordered pamphlets from F and M Printing, but received either none or far fewer than ordered. F and M then allegedly sent inflated invoices to Eideh’s office, then when F and M received the payments most of the money was allegedly funnelled back to Eideh’s office, and was then used to buy memberships and stack branches in Eideh’s favour.

It is alleged the printing company took between just 3 per cent and 10 per cent of the invoice before handing the rest back to the office.

A company spokesman told Print21 that the allegations ‘have nothing to do with us’ and said ‘I can’t make any comment’ before abruptly ending the call.

Khalil Eideh – who retired from politics last month after a 12 year stint in Parliament – is linked to F and M Printing. Eideh said his retirement was nothing to do with the ongoing investigation. He did however change the locks on his parliamentary office and place his staff on indefinite leave.

The son of Eideh’s former electorate officer, whose family home was among those raided last year, was preselected to take his place in the safe seat, but suddenly withdrew citing ‘family reasons’.

“The charges relate to conspiracy to attempt to pervert the course of justice, perjury, conspiracy to mislead IBAC, and disclosure of IBAC information,” IBAC said.

The trio are due in court on January 9.

The alleged methodology is not new, several high profile court cases have revealed various political figures using the tactic of using fake or embellished invoices for their print allowance to receive cash.

Former Victorian Liberal Party director Damien Mantach is currently serving five years at Her Majesty’s pleasure for stealing more than $1.5m by this method, although in his case it was from his state party coffers.

Just three months ago NSW Minister of State Alex Hawke was found to have spent more than half a million dollars with print management company Zion Graphics, which is owned by political ally, party donor and local Liberal branch president Rudy Limantono.

Nor is it limited to politicians, one union boss was given gold credit cards with unlimited spend by a small printer in Pam Beach, cards which were used to fund his own personal lifestyle, with all union print work funnelled through the small printer.

 

One Response to “Vic printing rort: ‘Nothing to do with us’”

  1. December 14, 2018 at 1:15 pm,

    banksy
    said:

    PIAA’s work bringing politicians and printers closer together is going really well.

Comment on this article


To receive notification of comments made to this article, you can also provide your email address below.