The law firm Slater & Gordon and their client the Health Services Union (HSU) have a lot of questions they need to answer in relation to a $159,955 payment they made to federal politician Craig Thomson in 2010.
There is a prima facie case to say that this payment was to cover-up Craig Thomson’s fraud and theft of ripping off the HSU. It was to settle defamation proceedings and a claim for entitlements by Craig Thomson.
Slater and Gordon knew then that Mr Thomson had ripped off the union and that he should never had been paid 2 cents and let alone the $159,955 he was. (See my previous post titled “Slater and Gordon lawyers nail Craig Thomson for fraud. The real smoking gun!“)
This is relevant because Craig Thomson has since had proceedings instituted against him by Fair Work Australia (FWA) for ripping off the HSU. Criminal charges are also highly likely to be instituted by the Victorian Police and/or NSW police in the near future.
Also it shows the pattern of the criminal conduct of covering up crimes by Slater and Gordon as only last week they said they could not find a file that most probably showed criminal conduct by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard when she worked at the law firm in the early 1990’s. The Slater & Gordon CEO Andrew Grech made numerous excuses as to why the file was lost. (Click here to read more)
But back to the Craig Thomson matter. The total payment was made up of $129,955 gross less tax of $45,194 ($84,761) and $30,000.
The key part in the Craig Thomson settlement is the $30,000 that he was paid by the HSU. (Click here to see the Deed of Release) It does not say why he was paid the $30,000. For that you have to go to the letter of offer Craig Thomson’s lawyers sent the HSU. They were requesting $65,000 for:
Your client pay our client the sum of $65,000 representing an amount Including
interest on outstanding entitlements, a contribution to this legal expenses and
damages for breach of privacy, breach of employment contract. denial of natural
justice and breach of confidential information for disclosing information to
Fairfax. (Click here to read the full letter of offer)
The $65,000 was obviously reduced to the $30,000 in the final settlement. It is worth noting as part of the letter of offer Craig Thomson sent to the HSU, he wanted them to “write to Fair Work Australia to advise It that the dispute between the parties has been resolved.” Yes that’s right, Mr Thomson wanted the HSU to help conceal his crimes by writing to FWA to try and stop their investigation of his fraud and theft. Which the HSU did try to do, at least in part by settling with him. Whether they wrote to FWA as he wanted is unknown by me at least. Maybe one of the readers knows. If you do add it to the comment section below.
A brief overview for readers who have not followed the story. Craig Thomson worked for the Health Services Union (HSU) for many years. In 2007 he was elected to federal parliament. After he was elected the HSU did an audit (2008) and found he had ripped off the union mainly using his credit card for such things as prostitutes, Nike shoes, electrical goods, election funding and cash withdrawals etc which totals over $500,000.
The HSU brought in the law firm Slater & Gordon to investigate and then brought in the accounting firm BDO Kendall (now BDO) in February 2009 for a forensic investigation of the fraud. In March 2009 it was brought to the attention of the AIR, firstly by an anonymous tip and then by a formal complaint from the HSU. (Click here to see the FWA report starting at page 26 paragraph 49 for the details) The AIR started making initial inquiries.
“On 8 April 2009 the Sydney Morning Herald published a story alleging that Craig Thomson used union credit cards to pay for prostitutes, withdraw over $100,000 in cash and fund his election campaign for the federal seat of Dobell. Thomson sued the newspaper for defamation, but withdrew proceedings when evidence was produced showing that the payments were made from his credit card, his drivers licence was checked and photocopied, and phone calls to escort agencies were made from his mobile phone and hotel rooms.” (Click here to read more on Wikipedia) If you click on the link someone has been editing Wikipedia to Mr Thomson’s benefit, so it has changed now from my quote which I took from a previous post.
I did write to the two Slater & Gordon lawyers who show up on the letter of offer and Deed of Settlement, Ken Fowlie and Phillip Pasfield. Below is the email:
From: Shane Dowling
Sent: Wednesday, 17 October 2012 4:33 PM
To: ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’; ‘email@example.com’
Subject: Media Request
Dear Mr Pasfield and Mr Fowlie
I am a journalist and would like to ask a couple of questions in relation to the Craig Thomson settlement that was negotiated by you two on behalf of the HSU and Mr Thomson’s lawyers in September 2010.
In 2009 Slater & Gordon and BDO accountants conducted an investigation into the alleged fraud by Mr Craig Thomson. The subsequent report from this investigation I understand was sent to the Victorian Police in 2009. The same Slater and Gordon/ BDO report forms the foundation for the FWA report that has resulted in civil proceedings against Mr Thomson announced this week.
- Given that Slater and Gordon were well aware that there was a prima facie case against Mr Thomson for fraud in 2009 why did you settle with Mr Thomson in 2010?
- Are you aware that what you did could be construed as an attempt to conceal a serious indictable offence?
- Who did you take instructions off at the HSU?
The above questions are coved by the crime/fraud exception which negates client attorney legal privilege. So there is nothing from stopping you from answering the questions.
Can you please reply ASAP as I will be publishing tonight.
I am still waiting on a reply but they did get the emails as I received a read receipt from Ken Fowlie and Phillip Pasfield’s assistant. Ken Fowlie is also a director of Slater and Gordon, so he really does have an obligation to respond to protect the companies name.
Plenty of questions for Slater & Gordon, Mr Fowlie and Mr Pasfield to answer and also the HSU as to why they paid Craig Thomson the money when they knew he owed them money and plenty of it. Clearly a case of attempting to conceal a crime by Slater and Gordon and whoever at the HSU decided to settle with Mr Thomson. Now that FWA has instituted proceedings the concealment attempt becomes even more obvious given their proceedings are based on the FWA report into Mr Thomson’s fraud and theft and their report was largely based on the Slater & Gordon Report from 2009.
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Categories: Slater and Gordon
There is no doubt that the only way this matter can be put to rest is by having a Royal Commission into the whole affair. This cover up should not be allowed to continue. It has to be in the interest of the Australian people.
Hi Bill.. I agree that something needs to be done re this situation. Unfortunately however, I no longer have faith in Royal Commissions. Given the way that the judiciary here in Australia appears to be have been stacked [by various political parties and parliaments], I believe that Royal Commissions have now become a lot like the police force investigating the police force. I’m concerned that having a Royal Commission to investigate this, or any other affair, is nothing less than appointing a political organisation which spends a lot of taxpayers money, but at the end of the day is kind of useless to say the least…
Bit like having gold in a bank guarded by guards! Who’s guarding the guards?
couldn’t agree more-until corruption within and throughout the judiciary is fully exposed and rooted out it is pointless calling for Royal Commissions
Like leaving Col Sanders to mind the chooks !
Bill, I agree. However this will never happen under the current government. Should we be lucky enough to have a change in government then it would be necessary for the LNP to pick a Judge that is not compromised by appointment from the Gillard faction. This is the only way that Justice can be done and seem to be done.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers, Craig Thomson, Julia Gillard… ad infinitum it seems. Where oh where are we going to find an honest politician, an honest judge or for that matter an honest lawyer who is not committed by and/or to, the Bar? God help Australia..
Bill Duff, I am afraid I have to agree with Phiston re a Royal Commission! Before this mob took over a ROYAL COMMISSION could be trusted to investigate honestly, but with all Gillards mates in the judiciary and ROXON as A.G. what chance of a fair deal would we have, NIL! We will have to wait until this Govt. is removed to get the TRUTH! Good work Shane, we appreciate all you are doing to bring criminals to justice!
Collusion on a grand scale. A royal commission can work he they appoint the correct person to head it.
It would appear that S & G are digging a deeper and deeper hole for themselves. I do wonder if at some point they will realize their survival as a Company is at stake and with start bailing. That would be interesting.
Any chance of SluG having a concience is doomed to failure. Thes slugs are labor to the core, and any thought that they might be honest is like getting Hitler to love Jews.
I will look forward to learning of the expected deserved reply to your honest well placed letter.
You do so make rational sense ,and yes we do tend to promote what is right and good in Australia.The Fair Dinkum way.
S&G have a lot to answer for, I wonder whether anyone will ask questions
at their AGM on Thursday.
As the others say, no use to have a RoyalCommission now, but one wonders, whether ASIC is not having an investigation in this. I believe that some partners have been selling big bundles of shares in the company?
Very smelly indeed, your questions should have been replied to Shane.
If anyone believes that ASIC might be interested, sorry sadly that is not on its agenda…..if they did they would more likely than not expose too much….and that is not on the agenda of the CEO, who was personally appointed by Julia Gillard and Wayne Swann……without so much as a by your leave look in by others, as Julia did not require the post to be advertised……..so get the drift?
Gillard gave ASIC chief appointment exemption
November 12, 2011
See the Age…….PRIME Minister Julia Gillard granted an exemption from her government’s policy promising ”open and merit-based” senior public sector appointments to allow former banking executive Greg Medcraft to head Australia’s corporate regulator without first advertising the role………
All this at the time that his former company was under investigation in the US……
The revelation comes after The Age yesterday reported the New York division of French bank Societe Generale – overseen by Mr Medcraft for many years – has been accused by the US government of breaking corporate laws and engaging in misconduct.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/gillard-gave-asic-chief-appointment-exemption-20111111-1nbxe.html#ixzz29z0RIKl6
So honestly there is no hope to keep the regulators, regulated it just does not exist….
SLATER & GORDON, YOU MUST BE CRYING OUT “LORD LET THIS CHALICE PASS OVER ME ” BUT IT WON’T, GILLARD’S EVIL WILL TAINT YOU ETERNITY.
Another dodgy appointment by our crooked PM. How many more are there? They just keep popping up out of the woodwork.
Slater & Gordon AGM should be a hoot!
I sit here and read these allegations directed at politicians and union members and wonder how in a modern society this can happen without any repercussions or any form of justice being delivered. The Australian public must be a collection of morons to allow it to happen, yes they voted them in and are too lazy to do anything about it. The lucky country indeed, lucky to exist with all this corruption,whatever happened to basic honesty and morals. Without people like Shane who have the guts to question this low life who crawl through parliament and the courts and represent the so called justice system, I have run out of patience counting all the corrupt crooks who have placed themselves in positions of power and are laughing at us all the way to the bank. Are they all young and naive or are some of them old and naive. keep up the good work Shane and put these bastards where they belong,because you will not keep them honest. Allan Myalup WA. “pissed off pensioner.”
Wow pensioner …[ The Australian public must be a collection of morons to allow it to happen, yes they voted them in and are too lazy to do anything about it. ] How did you get to say that without getting demonised?
Well said , andI totally agree. “pissed off and almost a pensioner”
Hunter s Thompson once said ” In a democracy people always get the government they deserve” “And they deserve all they get” And so we get Craig Thomson And Julia Gillard late of Slater and Gordon a nice combination Both Politicians democratically voted in by the people and both linked to (wait for it) A LAW FIRM What does the tee shirt say WHY HIRE A LAWYER WHEN YOU CAN BUY A JUDGE I can fully understand why your pissed off ME TOO
Barry regarding my post I believe Hunter S Thompson
I don’t believe Craig Thomson and i definitely would not believe anything Julia Gillard said
As for Slater and Gordon if i ever had to appear in court i would take my chances and defend myself before i would trust them They would probably lose my files
Why a hoot. Do you really expect the shareholders of Slug to give a care about honesty and truth? Why would any honest shareholder invest in SluG.They are about as dedcent and honourable as Stalin.
Thomson being protected by Gillard and visa versa…..time these issues were addressed by an authority with teeth and not and independently from the Gov (if that’s possible)…
I have noted here before that putting Thomson on the Crossbenches effectively made him Gillard’s master. For the sake of political appearances she rewarded him with more power over her than he could ever have wished for. She will protect him at all costs.
I honestly beleve that Julia Gillard is not just protecting a vote by shielding Craig Thompson I believe he knows more about Gillard and the HSU than any of us could comprehend and therefore she is protecting evidence against her Only my thoughts WHAT DO YOU THINK
I think your thoughts are so close to the truth, a strand of hair could not divide.
They are all products of the same system, they all know about each other.
So what do you call a collection of thieves and corrupt Union leaders?
The Government …
Are we a bunch of lunatics Australia at present is being governed by TWO POLITICIANS with pending court cases against them One for alleged homosexual conduct and one for alleged fraud Without their vote this present government fails and falls. Yet Gillard protects them at every level HOW MUCH MORE CAN WE TAKE.
Don.. I absolutely LOVE your comment. Sooooo clever and soooo right.
thanks PHISTON yes this country is being run by a corrupt government But i recall a few years ago a spokesman for the NEW WORLD ORDER once Admitted during an interview We would have had total control of the world by now except for one thing No matter where we go there is always someone we cannot buy” Seems to me we have one here with Shane. Nice to know you cannot be bought. and that Craig Thomsons and Slater and Gordon will eventually have to face the courts so long as the pressure is kept on them by honest citizens of this Nation
Does anyone who doesn’t vote Labor ever use Slater and Gordon’s services ? Do they ever tell prospective clients they are a Labor law firm ?
The comment section seems to have a problem so this is put in ‘reply’ but is not a reply.
Must be encouraging for S and G investors that the share price has been maintained at $1.950 for the last five days on a volume of over about 1,500.000. per the ASX at about 3.pm.
In May 2012 it had dipped to about 1.650 with a high in mid July of about 2.200, per an interpreation of the graph.
So S and G are cruising at a tickety boo. Happy AGM.
davey street ,yes to first question and NO to second,and we have been stung by a SLuG , STILL HURTS
Yes , I had a very good friend, who developed cancer, due to asbestos. He had to claim compensation for all his medical bills etc.etc. and he had to go to S&G, no other option!
I was horrified by the amount of money, which went to them, hundreds of thousands of dollars, really for doing nothing else then pay the bills etc.etc. Shocking if you think how these sick people are being robbed.
On top of this issue there is also this one;
The ALP- Slater & Gordon connection would be a worry to me if I were a shareholder however if one wanted to invest in Ambulance chasers that is the risk they take.
CRAIG Thomson says he is prepared to ‘fully co-operate’ with police after officers raided his home on the NSW Central Coast, but insists he has done nothing wrong.
NSW police executed a search warrant on behalf of Victorian police at Mr Thomson’s home at Bateau Bay on the NSW central coast.
We all need to work so that this mob of union crooks gets thrown out of government next election Then Julie Bishop will have her way and Tony Abbott as PM will call a Royal Commission into the lot of them!
Game set match and thanks to those wounded by the Red Dalek who are fighting back, your day of rejoicing will come!
As a member of the HSU I think Slater and Gordon have been there to act as personal litigators and protectors for the fat cats of the HSU – When the findings of theTemby report was being handed down the lawyers advised HSU members we couldn’t have a copy as members because there might be something in the report which could be considered defamatory against the former HSU President. Effectively they tried to stop us having a copy of our own report we’d funded.as members. These conflicts of interest go on.
These are not conflicts of interest, they are slimy criminal lawyers trying to slither out of the mire, to save themselves and their ill gotten funds from being caught. So if you really are amember of the HSU, resign, and get your mates to do the same, NOW.
Did you read the article of Richardson in The Australian?
Real Labor tactics, minimising the crimes and making out Thomson is ‘the victim’.
I hope the detective is going to sue Richardson, as this is a pure LIE.
Yes Don, I totally agree with you, all HSU members should resign en masse, after all they are not being looked after, they are being used and their hard-earned money to
give the bosses of the union an easy life and their money.
If you want a report done, you are entitled to a copy of the report. I bet the account which Slater and Gorden have presented comes out of your money
Love to know how much they charged