Mor­ri­son jailed for more than $71k flood fraud

Gatton Star - - NEWS -

THE deadly 2011 del­uge that swept down the Lock­yer Val­ley on its de­struc­tive flood path led to a mas­sive clean-up, road re­pairs and re­build­ing.

Mil­lions of dol­lars of Com­mon­wealth na­tional dis­as­ter re­lief re­cov­ery funds was made avail­able to get the vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture re­build­ing work done quickly. And on the scene was Paul Joseph Mor­ri­son.

De­spite be­ing dis­charged bank­rupt, Mor­ri­son ran a com­pany trad­ing as Kil­dare Pas­toral Co. Mor­ri­son was its director and be­came part of an al­liance – KLM – that was en­gaged by Lock­yer Re­gional Val­ley Coun­cil to over­see and pay sub-con­trac­tors for the work done.

It was then to re­claim the money paid out from the coun­cil.

Some years af­ter the flood event, Mor­ri­son was charged with al­legedly pro­vid­ing false in­voices to the coun­cil for work done but in fact not paid for.

Nearly eight years on from the floods and Mor­ri­son has been jailed for his of­fences – a fraud in­volv­ing $71,448.25.

But, the Crown pros­e­cu­tion case and sen­tenc­ing judge ac­cepted his of­fend­ing was not done for per­sonal en­rich­ment.

Mor­ri­son, 46, pleaded guilty in the District Court at Ip­swich to one count of fraud, dis­hon­estly in­duc­ing delivery of prop­erty with a value over $30,000; and eight charges of mak­ing false dec­la­ra­tions.

Judge Den­nis Lynch QC sen­tenced Mor­ri­son to three years in jail.

Or­dered to serve six months in prison he will then be re­leased with the re­main­der of the sen­tence sus­pended for three years.

Judge Lynch said Mor­ri­son was the project man­ager of an al­liance set up to over­see the re­cov­ery work, and paid a wage. The sub-con­trac­tors wrote in­voices and time sheets for the work done with Mor­ri­son’s group to pay them.

He would cer­tify this was done and in­voices were sent to coun­cil who would pay from the dis­as­ter re­lief re­cov­ery funds.

“You were listed as a director of the com­pany but at the time you were an undis­charged bank­rupt and should not have been a director,” Judge Lynch said.

“The to­tal amount paid out falsely by coun­cil was $107,988.50.

“Sig­nif­i­cantly $36,540.25 of the in­voices were sub­se­quently paid.

“The to­tal not paid on to the sub-con­trac­tors was $71,448.25.” — Ross Irby

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