Three Brisbane lawyers charged with fraud by CCC
FOUR men, including three Brisbane lawyers, have been charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission with fraud and money-laundering offences.
It follows an 18-month major investigation into the activities of a Brisbane-based law firm, under codename Operation Stockade.
The CCC and Queensland Police Service officers executed search warrants at residential addresses across Brisbane this morning.
It will be alleged that some of the men were involved in serious fraud offences against Legal Aid Queensland, to a value of approximately $340,000.
The fraud allegedly involved the failure to comply with the Legal Profession Act 2007 in relation to the requirement to deposit over $765,000 into a trust account.
It will also be alleged some of the men laundered the proceeds of serious criminal offences.
The CCC said a Tarragindi man, 47, had been arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated fraud, fraudulent falsification of records and aggravated money laundering.
He has been remanded in custody and will appear before Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.
An Alderley man, 30, has been arrested and charged with aggravated fraud. He has been bailed to appear before Brisbane Magistrates Court on November 19.
A Wynnum man, 28, has been arrested and charged with aggravated fraud. He has been bailed to appear before Brisbane Magistrates Court on 19 November.
An Inala man, 30, has been arrested and charged with aggravated fraud and aggravated money laundering.
He has been remanded in custody and is expected to appear before the Pine Rivers Magistrates Court tomorrow.
The CCC said more arrests were expected today and tomorrow.
"Operation Stockade has focused on individuals who have allegedly facilitated and supported serious and organised crime. The fact some of these allegations relate to individuals involved in the legal profession is concerning," CCC Chairperson Alan MacSporran QC said.
"Any fraud committed on Legal Aid Queensland is in my view a fraud on Queensland tax-payers and it has the potential to interfere with the administration of justice."