Leigh Coleman who is a former Hillsong Church executive and close friend of Prime Minister Scott Morrison has had numerous allegations of fraud made against him over the last 15 years including attempted bribery yet his company ServeGate Australia has still managed to be awarded $43 million in government contracts since 2015.
During the same period that ServeGate Australia was being awarded the $43 million in contracts due to the “strong business relations with decision-makers at very high levels including Ministers” as their website says, Scott Morrison was appointed Treasurer in September 2015 and became Prime Minister in August 2018. So was Scott Morrison involved in any way?
ServeGate Australia is now a registered tax-free charity and its operations are suspicious to say the least where they don’t seem to do much work except take a percentage off the top and then sub-contract the real work out to other companies. This has been exposed in an article in The Guardian but we’ll get back to that in a minute because we should look at Leigh Coleman’s past handiwork first of fraud and bribery allegations when he was at Hillsong Church and an organisation called Many Rivers which is also a registered tax-free charity.
Leigh Coleman’s fraud and theft from Aboriginies while working at Hillsong Church
In 2005 allegations were made that Leigh Armstrong and Hillsong Church tried a swifty to rip off the Riverstone Aboriginal Community Association but when caught out they tried to bribe them to keep quiet. The SMH reported:
THE Hillsong Church has denied it used an Aboriginal community to secure a federal grant and then tried to bribe the community to keep silent.
A Labor MP, Ian West, told the NSW Parliament last month the church’s charitable arm, Hillsong Emerge, “misused” the Riverstone Aboriginal Community Association to apply for a $415,000 crime-prevention grant from the Federal Government.
Mr West said Hillsong used the community “to get taxpayers’ money for its own purposes” and then “lamely tried to dole out some of the money in return for their co-option”.
“Taxpayer funding which is needed for local disadvantaged communities is now being channelled directly into Hillsong’s bank accounts,” he said.
Mr West said Hillsong plagiarised funding proposals which were supposed to be made as part of a joint application with the Riverstone association.
The head of Hillsong, Leigh Coleman, later wrote to the community offering to give it $280,000 from the grant.
Mr West said this was an attempt “to pay off the Riverstone Aboriginal Community Association in return for its silence”.
Last week he told Parliament he had since been branded a “liar” during Hillsong services. (Click here to read more)
Mr West being “branded a “liar” during Hillsong services” suggests Brian Houston was involved at least to some degree.
In 2006 Leigh Coleman’s operation at Hillsong Emerge – the evangelical group’s former benevolent arm – had its funding discontinued after revelations the vast majority of taxpayer dollars went to employing staff. (Click here to read more)
It was also reported in 2006:
Indigenous development grants to Hillsong‘s benevolent arm have gone almost entirely to employing and providing offices for church staff, with only a trickle reaching Aborigines.
In one case, Hillsong Emerge spent $315,000 in federal funds employing seven of its own staff in Sydney to administer a “micro-credit” project that made only six loans to Aborigines worth an average of $2856 each.
Hillsong also failed to enable a single Aborigine to become self-employed under a $610,968 federal grant to encourage indigenous entrepreneurship. The $610,968 grant was approved in just three weeks, and Hillsong faced no competition since it was the only applicant.
The revelations are contained in answers from senator Eric Abetz, representing Employment Minister Kevin Andrews, to a detailed series of questions on notice from Labor’s indigenous affairs spokesman, Chris Evans.
They show that far more funds are spent on Hillsong staffers and administration than actual service delivery. One federal grant paid $965,421 to Hillsong Emerge to administer $280,000 in loan funds. (Click here to read more)
No need to worry about Leigh Coleman: “In 2006 it was reported the Federal Government admitted he received $80,000 of federal indigenous development funds to top up his salary, despite having only indirect involvement in projects run by Hillsong Emerge. Mr Coleman declined to comment.” (Click here to read more)
Leigh Coleman’s fraud and theft from Aboriginies while working at Many Rivers Microfinance
In 2011 News.com reported:
A CHRISTIAN charity which has so far spent more than $1.3 million to generate just $330,000 in loans for Indigenous Australians is being investigated.
Many Rivers Microfinance is run by a former Hillsong executive who has already come under parliamentary scrutiny over an earlier loans program that delivered only a trickle of funds to the Indigenous community.
In 2006 Leigh Coleman’s operation at Hillsong Emerge – the evangelical group’s former benevolent arm – had its funding discontinued after revelations the vast majority of taxpayer dollars went to employing staff.
Mr Coleman’s current program at Many Rivers has since successfully raised millions of dollars from the Federal Government and some of the country’s biggest companies including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Westpac.
But since its inception in 2007 to the end of the 2010 financial year the latest available records show it has delivered just 74 microenterprise loans worth a total of $330,000.
While declining to provide evidence as to how the reported $1.375 million had been spent delivering them, the charity said that – like the discontinued Hillsong pilot – the bulk had gone on staff salaries and training.
Mr Coleman, who is chief executive officer, a director and also a company member of Many Rivers, declined requests to be interviewed. (Click here to read more)
The picture below is from News.com
Leigh Coleman seems to be a serial fraudster who uses charities to dodge tax and avoid accountability.
Leigh Coleman and his new tax-free charity ServeGate Australia
The Guardian published an article on the 4/9/20 titled “The unconventional charity run by Scott Morrison’s ‘dear friend’ Leigh Coleman” which starts off:
A company founded and run by a man the prime minister, Scott Morrison, describes as “a very dear friend” has received more than $43m in government contracts since 2015, mostly from defence, while being a registered charity helping Indigenous businesses with advice.
The company, ServeGate Australia, has as its founding CEO Leigh Coleman, who Morrison mentioned in his maiden speech as a key influence on his life. Its nominated charitable purposes are to increase Aboriginal employment and reduce welfare dependency.
The unconventional ServeGate model – described by Coleman as “unique” – involves contracting with the commonwealth government then subcontracting the work to conventional – almost all non-Indigenous – small and medium professional services companies.
Profits from the government work subsidise Coleman and other staff members’ salaries while they provide advice to a small number of selected Indigenous businesses.
The company’s website makes no mention of its charity status, and some companies that received subcontracted work through ServeGate have told Guardian Australia they were not aware it was a charity. (Click here to read more)
The Guardian article is well researched and left me in no doubt that Leigh Coleman is up to his old tricks as the company is very light on detail when asked basic questions and their answers are contradicted by others which suggest they are lying.
It’s no surprise that friends of Scott Morrison are involved in government fraud. Scott Morrison’s good mates David Gazard and Peter Costello have done very well out of Australia’s $50 billion submarine contract because of their links to Morrison. (Click here to read more) And Peter Costello returned the favour by using his position as Nine Entertainment Chairman and had a fundraiser at Channel Nine studios at Sydney to raise $700,000 for the Liberal Party. (Click here to read more)
It should be remembered that Scott Morrison was sacked by the Liberal Party in 2006 for likely fraud when he was Managing Director of Tourism Australia. I wrote an article on the matter which started off:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was sacked as Managing Director of Tourism Australia in 2006 and he has always refused to say why. One thing is for certain, it had to be massive wrongdoing by Morrison. Why? Because Scott Morrison, who was State Director of the New South Wales Liberal Party from 2000 to 2004, was sacked by a Liberal Party Minister in the Liberal Party John Howard government and they don’t sack one of their own for a minor reason or even a major reason. Morrison’s sacking had to be something, at the very least, bordering on criminal and more than likely actual criminal conduct. (Click here to read more)
The question that Scott Morrison needs to answer is what involvement has he had helping Leigh Coleman and his so-called charity ServeGate Australia getting the $43 million in government contracts?
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Categories: Prime Minister Scott Morrison