CCC flags corruption by former Horizon Power manager
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The Corruption and Crime Commission has released its second damning report in less than a week, calling for criminal charges against a former Horizon Power IT manager, his business partner and his accountant.
An investigation by the CCC found that, between 2010 and 2013, Horizon Power paid more than $200,000 to Paul Thomas’s business Trusted Solutions IT (TSIT) while he was manager of the technology department.
Mr Thomas established TSIT in 2010 with Anthony Raspa, and used his managerial position to falsely engage Mr Raspa as a contractor to Horizon.
TSIT accountant Paul Hesford was also involved in the conspiracy.
“Mr Hesford agreed to be the nominated director and shareholder of that entity for the purpose of concealing Mr Thomas and Mr Raspa's ownership from Horizon Power,” the report stated.
The CCC has recommended prosecuting Mr Thomas, Mr Raspa and Mr Hesford for conspiracy to commit fraud.
“Mr Thomas used his position at Horizon Power to gain a financial benefit for TSIT and himself,” the CCC said.
“The commission concludes that Mr Raspa failed to declare a conflict of interest at Horizon Power in relation to TSIT.
“By his failure to do so, he was complicit in the deception of Horizon Power and TSIT's corrupt receipt of agency margin fees.”
The CCC said Mr Hesford was not a public officer and thus it had no jurisdiction to form an opinion of him.
The commission intercepted phone conversations and heard Mr Thomas talk about "milking" Horizon.
He remarked to Mr Raspa: "How do I create a little entity, wrap up Horizon Power, rape as much as I can out of it and then we both f*** off?"
The report also found that Mr Thomas had corruptly engaged his wife as a contractor at a rate of $770 per day to pay down credit card debts.
The commission did not find that Mrs Thomas had acted corruptly.
Mr Thomas resigned from Horizon and Mr Raspa's contract was terminated.
The news comes after the CCC recommended criminal charges be laid against three former public servants and at least 10 private sector contractors after highlighting corrupt practices at the North Metropolitan Health Service last week.
Shadow Government Accountability Minister Tjorn Sibma has called on the state government to undertake an independent review into public sector procurement practices, in the wake of the two CCC reports.