Craig Thomson

Craig Thomson MP – Who’s paying his legal bills? Which union is it?

Federal MP Craig Thomson has an estimated legal bill of $300,000 for his current criminal and civil proceedings which he is defending. So who is paying the bill? It is only a couple of years ago that the NSW Labor party had to pay $350,000 in legal bills for Mr Thomson so he did not go bankrupt and get kicked out of parliament.

The mail is it that the Transport Workers Union (TWU) have stepped in with a slush fund to help with the reddies needed to pay his legal expenses. The TWU is run by the well-known slush fund operator, fraudster, thief, money launderer and National Vice President of the Labor Party, Tony Sheldon. There is also mail that the AWU might have also set up a slush fund on the side to help Craig Thomson. As we all know the AWU is well versed in running slush funds, just ask the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The biggest question in my mind though is, has Justice Christopher Jessup of the Federal Court of Australia been deliberately misled by Craig Thomson and/or his lawyer Christopher McArdle in matter VID798/2012 – General Manager of Fair Work Australia v Craig Thomson.


Craig Thomson worked at the Health Services Union before he entered parliament and ripped off the union and has been under investigation for 4 years or more and is now facing civil and criminal charges over the matter. The former President of the HSU, Michael Williamson, is also facing criminal charges. I have done a number of posts on the matter for people who want further background. (Click here to read the posts)

Craig Thomson’s financial position

Mr Thomson’s current financial position came to light on Thursday when the Federal Court of Australia published an affidavit by Mr Thomson’s lawyer Christopher McArdle. (Click here to read the affidavit) The posted an article with an overview of the affidavit on Saturday titled “Thomson has $60 in bank, court told”. (Click here to read)

The bottom line is that Craig Thomson says he has $60 in the bank and owes $23,000 dollars on credit cards. He has estimated legal costs of $300,000 which is broken down to $200,000 for the civil proceedings and $100,000 for the criminal proceedings. Craig Thomson is being represented by the Melbourne law firm Galbally O’Brien for the criminal proceedings.

Christopher McArdle who wrote the affidavit is representing Mr Thomson for the civil proceedings and says that he has already billed Mr Thomson “about $50,000 in legal fees” yet makes no mention if he has been paid the money or if he has by who.

All roads lead to Rome or in this case ALP Vice President Tony Sheldon

It needs to be remembered the Labor Party already has form on the board for paying Craig Thomson’s legal expenses to the tune of $350,000 when he took legal action against Fairfax Media for defamation and then withdrew the claim when he could see that they had the evidence of his fraud and theft. Part of the $350,000 was also for other legal costs for Mr Thomson. (Click here to read more) If Thomson could not afford the bills then how can he now? The affidavit shows he can’t.

Tony Sheldon is the National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and is as corrupt as they come. This includes fraud, theft, setting up dodgy slush funds and laundering money out of NSW government departments and into Labor Party election accounts. I have written a previous post on this subject titled “Money laundering the Labor Party and Union way.” (Click here to read)

Mr Sheldon also has close ties to the former HSU President Michael Williamson. It says this about Sheldon on the Power Index for Union Heavies in May last year:

By 1999 he had become secretary of the TWU’s powerful NSW branch, one of the ALP’s biggest donors. Sheldon’s sway within Labor was bolstered by a close alliance with Health Services Union boss Michael Williamson, with the two unions voting in lockstep at party conferences.”

Williamson also supported Sheldon in his ill-fated bid to become head of the NSW Labor Council in 2001. John Robertson, who now leads the NSW Labor party, prevailed and the pair remains far from chummy. Williamson and Sheldon have also since fallen out.” (Click here to read more)

And this in The Australian in February this year:

Mr Sheldon said last night he had regular contact with senior HSU  officials, including former national president Michael Williamson, but  was “shocked” by the allegations levelled against the union leadership.” (Click here to read more)

It seems like Sheldon and Williamson no longer have “fallen out“.

The bottom line is Craig Thomson cannot pay his own legal costs. So in steps the fraudster and money man Tony Sheldon who has close links to both the HSU and Labor Party to solve the problem. 

If the mail was wrong, which comes from a reliable source, then the only question that needs to be answered is which union is paying for Craig Thomson’s legal expenses and how it is structured. Craig Thomson is sure not paying his own legal costs. He has obviously has done a deal with the Labor Party / Unions to support the government in return to have his legal bills paid as he has done similar before with the $350,000 that the NSW Labor Party previously paid.

Questions for Craig Thomson

Under Federal Parliament rules Mr Thomson has and must declare gifts and assets within 28 days of receiving them on the Register of Pecuniary Interests. I do not know if he previously declared the $350,000 legal expense paid by the Labor Party but he should have.

One way around declaring the current legal expenses is to structure the deal that the money be paid after he has left parliament, which is only a few months away at the federal election in September barring a miracle that Mr Thomson is re-elected. This seems to be supported by the fact that the affidavit says Mr Thomson has been billed about $50,000 so far, yet makes no mention of if it has been paid which would be relevant to the evidence filed in the court. Has it been paid or is it a current liability that Mr Thomson owes? I think that is relevant to the court evidence. And why the “about $50,000” and not an exact amount? A few key strokes of a computer would give an exact amount one would have thought. Seems a bit odd.

But even if Mr Thomson has only been given a guarantee that his legal expenses will be paid it could be argued that the guarantee should be declared on the Register of Pecuniary Interests.

Questions for the Federal Labor Party

The Labor Party have an obligation to declare if the TWU or other unions are paying Craig Thomson’s legal expenses. The Labor Party would say if questioned, about who is paying Mr Thomson’s legal expenses, that it is not their business as he is suspended from the party.

But that is not good enough. The Labor Party is not much more than an extension of the unions. It is the unions that by and large fund the Labor Party. It is also the Labor Party that previously paid the $350,000 for Mr Thomson. The union members are entitled to know where their money is going as well.

Has Justice Jessup of the Federal Court of Australia been deliberately been misled?

It is rather odd that Craig Thomson did not write the affidavit, as per above, himself given it outlines his and his wife’s financial position. The purpose of the affidavit is to assist his application, which was heard last week by Justice Jessup, to have the civil matters by FWA stayed until the criminal matters are heard and dealt with. Justice Jessup has reserved his judgement.

The affidavit implies a story of hardship with little money and large legal costs as a reason why the civil matters should be stayed. But this argument could not be supported if the TWU or someone else was paying his legal bills. If Craig Thomson had written the affidavit himself he would have had to declare that the TWU is paying his legal bills or lie in the affidavit which is a criminal offence.

Solution! Have his lawyer write the affidavit and if later caught out that the TWU or another union is paying the legal bills, then he can just say he never told his lawyer as he did not think it was relevant and his lawyer never misled the court. Problem solved.

Based on all the evidence and Craig Thomson’s previous form he has used his position to do a deal for someone else to pay his legal bills so he does not end up a bankrupt. That being the case then the court has been misled and Justice Jessup played for a fool.

Is paying Craig Thomson’s legal bills a criminal offence?

Everyone in the country knows that Craig Thomson ripped off the union and have done so for years with all the evidence splashed across the media. Back in 2009 the law firm Slater and Gordon and the accounting firm BDO conducted an investigation that left it in no doubt. Last year I wrote a post titled “Slater and Gordon lawyers nail Craig Thomson for fraud. The real smoking gun!” (Click here to read the post)

So is the paying of his legal expenses a criminal offence? I would think so. It is an attempt to pervert the course of justice and conceal a serious indictable offence. The Labor Party even admitted they paid the original $350,000 to make sure he did not go bankrupt and get kicked out of parliament. (Bankrupts can not be a federal politician) They never said they paid his bills because they thought he was innocent of the criminal offences, because like everyone else they knew he was guilty. And if the Labor Party knew he was guilty of criminal offences they should not have been paying his legal expenses.

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33 replies »

  1. Seems to me that it doesnt matter who is paying what or who is corrupt or who is lying the point is and it doesnt matter Craig Thompson will get away with all of this exactly the same as Julia Gillard a lier and thief..they all get away with this and the public pays for it our whole legal system and this bloody corrupt government should be made accountable

  2. How do we get Honesty into Parliament and The Public Service? How can we clean up the Unions and get Honesty into them? Margaret Fatcher forced secret ballots into the Union movements in England. Maybe that could be a start here in our problems. Putting the Unions under the same reporting structure as companies are would also be a good start. But that doesn’t solve the problem of corruption and dishonesty with in the Government. Two thirds of the Labor Party have been shown beyond doubt to be involved in some form of corrupt activity and the other third are lame ponies just along for the trot. The Liberals also are having their problems with members being squeezed out of the fold because their antics are being exposed. God Help us if the Greens become the dominate party. What chance does the country have of ever recovering with that bunch of Walleyes leading us?
    So where to now??

  3. I am disappointed that the media are not splashing this in the headlines and asking serious questions. It appears obvious media going to benefit hugely with Labour / Union election campaign money.

  4. The MSM media are not doing their job. Tax payer money is funding corrupt union appointed MP Craig Thompson, and sanctioned by the union appointed Gillard government.

    • They are doing their job. Someone is getting what they pay for. That it isn’t us is no longer here nor there to them.

  5. I agree with Shane’s assertion that it is illegal to fund known criminal’s with tax payer money

  6. Whether the bill has been paid or not, Thomson has to either show the receipt of moneys used to pay his bill, or show the amount as a liability on his pecuniary interest register. I expect the libs will be after him as soon as they have finished slicing and dicing Swan over his budget.

  7. Shane, we can only keep persevering – the Labour party is rife with corruption, along with the unions – one can only trust that soon the Liberals will be in power and sweep the whole “place” clean of the thieving, lieing and corruption we have never seen the like of in our Country’s political history

  8. Is Craig Thomson a member of this Union?
    Why isn’t he forking out for his own costs?
    How many hard working members of the TWU cannot afford to pay their own legal fees? When was the last time you heard of a Union paying out of its own pocket for a real working member?
    Has anyone asked the membership how they feel?
    Where is it written that the Fund can be used to bail out politicians?
    No, no, no.

    And they wonder why people don’t want to be members of unions anymore…

  9. The corruption in the unions and Labor party is in the DNA and will not be solved by bent solicitors and judges. I think that Abbott should in the name of democratic rites have a Royal commision into the whole union and Labor party, Shane is on top of it but he relies on public opinion and the average Australian is more interest ed in footy and faggots weddings than justice.The lethargic attitude of the public gives corruption a head start and Shanes efforts in nailing these corrupt bastards will be in vain if the masses don’t lend a hand. Allan from MyalupWA

    • Two concurrent Royal Commissions would be an expensive exercise, which is why Gillard opened up a Commission without end into the Catholic Ch…I mean child abuse in Institutions. A Royal Commission into the past so as to prevent a Royal Commission into the here and now.

    • exactly! however, Shane and us followers do have a voice – and Tony Abbott needs an enquiry into all the fraud that has gone on with labor ministers and the unions – sick to death of them ripping us Australians off thru our taxes and cost of liv ing rises that have occurred stemming from higher taxes and all the other rubbish the labor party inflicted upon us that Tony is now cleaning up

  10. Shane, It is beyond me, that this man still sits there in Parliament and I read somewhere that he expects to be standing again!
    I admit the man is delusional, but the MSM will not touch it.

    Let us just hope, we will be rid of this incompetent and criminal rabble in September or before.

    In the meantime, please keep it coming Shane!

  11. A wise solicitor would have any guarantee that his or her potential fees would be paid in writing backed up with a lawfully enforceable agreement and with some tangible security backing it up. Promises are fairies breaking wind.
    Counsel appearing would normally look to the solicitor for fees, subject to some personal arrangement.
    Defalcation after the election may well be suspected/expected if the lawyers’ security is not cast in stone.
    When sleeping with dogs, beware of fleas!
    If there are such written/oral guarantee/s then the guarantor’s potential liability may (?) be classed as an asset in the hands of the person taking the benefit of the guarantee.
    If there are such arrangements known to legal reps, then to suggest to the court otherwise or not fully disclose could be a problem. Matter for the lawyers!

  12. I hope the voters can see beyond the smiling JG appearances at schools, the cash handouts to ‘whoever’, the growing unemloyment which is hidden by stats manipulation. I hope the voters remember how the weak media has let JG and CT off the hook whilst their government gets us into huge debt and coverups of money laundering by unions

  13. At ABC News Just In, I read that Mr. Thomson MP is seeking donations from the public to his legal fees.
    I expect readers to kick the can for Mr. Thomson and support the legal
    Remember: 10% in gst on the fees goes to help the government fill the budget black hole.
    All hands in for Mr. Thomson MP!?

  14. I saw that item on the News to, Craig Thomson asking the public for money.
    I thought it was just a cover for the fact that one of the unions are paying his bills.

    Cannot wait for this corrupt lot to be thrown out, I am sick to death of it.

  15. Nottwistedyet.It is a long queue but it will be a blockbuster in September when the whole crooked lot get there cumuppance.What about her latest drivel on the budget and all the excuses. Allan from Myalup WA.

  16. Thank you Shane * I appreciate the truth so very much.
    I am grateful for your site and `try` to show that the only way I know how, small donations and promoting the decent source that it be.
    Smile sent~

    • I’m sure we will all be fascinated to see the eventual outcome in the court. Let us hope that the truth will prevail.

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