A former IT manager of Western Australian government-owned Horizon Power secretly funnelled more than $200,000 in funds into his own company over a three-year period, the state’s Corruption and Crime Commission has determined.
Paul Thomas paid his company Trusted Solutions IT (TSIT) a total of $206,739.56 in agency margin fees from August 2010 to September 2013, according to records reported on by commission.
The commission recommended that Thomas and two of his colleagues Anthony Raspa and Paul Hesford be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit fraud.
“Thomas used his position to claim falsely that TSIT carried out work for Horizon Power,” the commission’s report read.
“Without disclosing his ownership of the company, in his capacity as manager of technology, he then provided TSIT with a positive reference for the work he lied about carrying out.”
Raspa, Thomas’ business partner with TSIT, was implicated despite being hired after the embezzlements occurred as he failed to declare a conflict of interest at Horizon Power in relation to his role with TSIT. Paul Hesford meanwhile was TSIT’s accountant.
The report also said Thomas’ wife was engaged as a contractor to pay down credit card debt.
Allegations started to come in as early as 2016, with the commission joining forces with the WA Police Force the following year. The investigation finished in May 2018.