Monday May 25,2015 : ONLINE GAMBLER ACCUSED OF STEALING A MILLION FROM POLICE UNION
Civvy financial officer resigns after audit found shortfalls in the accounts.
Kelly Harris (27), the Brisbane, Australia-based financial officer of the Queensland Police Union, has resigned following an annual audit which found a million dollars had gone missing from the union's accounts over a six month period.
Harris has engaged a lawyer as investigations progress, with allegations that the missing funds were channeled into a series of non-union bank accounts, and then used to place bets on horse races through accounts with a number of online gambling sites.
People familiar with Harris said the allegations had taken them by surprise; the finance officer apparently led a modest and low profile lifestyle, was not known to gamble and did not seem to have many assets.
Harris has deleted his social media accounts and declined to comment on the issue.
Members of the union learned about the fraud from an email sent to them by the union's president, Ian Leavers, in which he advised:
“An issue was identified by the Queensland Police Union that related to a civilian staff member working as a finance officer, not a police officer, senior staff member or an elected official.
“Upon the issue being identified the QPU acted immediately and reported the alleged matters to various authorities, including the Queensland Police Service.
“Now that a person engaged to perform internal financial work for the union has breached that trust, we have acted swiftly.
“Rest assured, while we believe the exact amount involved in improper transactions is in the vicinity of $1 million, we continue to be in a financially secure and stable position and this incident will have no effect on our service delivery capabilities nor will it affect members’ dues.”
In addition, the union advised that it has hired a legal firm to recoup the missing funds.