Thomson to face 150 fraud charges

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Thomson to face 150 fraud charges
Updated: 15:51, Thursday January 31, 2013
Thomson to face 150 fraud charges

Embattled MP Craig Thomson is set to be charged with 150 fraud offences after being arrested on the NSW Central Coast.

NSW police say the 48-year-old was arrested by officers from the State Crime Command’s Fraud and Cybercrime Squad at a Tuggerah property shortly after 1pm (AEDT) on Thursday.

‘An arrest warrant had been issued for the 48-year-old man by Victorian authorities following investigations into allegations of fraud committed against the Health Services Union,’ police said in a statement.

Thomson had been taken to Wyong police station where he was expected to be charged with a fraud offence, police said.

He is expected to appear at Wyong Local Court later on Thursday, where it is expected a further 149 fraud charges will be laid.

His lawyer Chris McArdle said Thomson would plead not guilty to all charges.

‘This fellow is innocent and will maintain that innocence throughout,’ he told Sky News.

Shortly before his arrest, Thomson indicated to AAP he was expecting it.

He has strenuously denied allegations he misused union funds to pay for prostitutes, air travel, entertainment and cash withdrawals when he was national secretary of the Health Services Union (HSU) from 2002 to 2007.

It is anticipated Victorian detectives will apply for his extradition to Victoria.

Thomson has been suspended from the Labor party but it will be damaging for the federal government for him to be facing charges.

Mr McArdle said his client was distressed by his arrest.

‘He’s been falsely charged with 150 criminal offences, you don’t actually shrug your shoulders at that,’ he told Macquarie Radio.

He said Thomson could only be prevented from sitting in parliament if he was convicted.

‘The only way you can be prevented from taking up and serving your seat in parliament is if you are convicted of an offence,’ he said.

Thomson wanted to spend time with his family now, Mr McArdle said.

Staff at Thomson’s electorate office declined to comment.

Federal government frontbencher Craig Emerson said Thomson was entitled to the presumption of innocence.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott declined to comment, saying the coalition would not discuss matters before the court.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard told reporters in Queensland she had heard there were media reports of the arrest but she did not have details and would not comment.

‘It’s a matter for police,’ she told reporters in Bundaberg.

Ms Gillard rejected suggestions she had advance knowledge of his arrest on Thursday.

‘Of course not,’ she said.

She would not speculate on Mr Thomson’s arrest or the potential political consequences of him going to court.
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One thought on “Thomson to face 150 fraud charges

  1. Neville

    31 January, 2013

    He has since been granted bail to spend timme with his
    family!!!!!

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