BREAKING NEWS: Labor MP whose sex-with-union-funds scandal nearly brought down a government is ARRESTED and charged over $2million cash for 130 Aussie visas scam
- Former Federal Labor MP Craig Thomson arrested on migration fraud charges
- Australian Federal Police arrested a 57-year-old man on NSW Central Coast
- It’s alleged he facilitated more than 130 fraudulent visa applications
- Federal police said the operation netted more than $2 million over four years
Former Federal Labor MP Craig Thomson has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a multi-million dollar migration fraud.
The Australian Federal Police announced it had arrested a 57-year-old man from the NSW Central Coast at his home in Terrigal, on the NSW central coast.
Thomson is alleged facilitated more than 130 fraudulent visa applications over four years, resulting in a $2 million windfall.
The visas related to workers in the food service and regional farm industries, said the AFP.
Former Federal Labor MP Craig Thomson has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a multi-million dollar migration fraud
He was charged with providing false documents and false or misleading information relating to non-citizens, and breaching restriction on charging fees for immigration assistance.
‘The alleged offences in this matter involved the exploitation of Federal Government programs designed to assist Australian businesses, and it is incumbent on the AFP to investigate and prosecute instances of large-scale fraud against Australian taxpayers,’ an AFP statement read.
The man is expected to appear before Gosford Local Court today.
Mr Thomson during his time in Parliament as the Federal members for Dobell on the NSW Central Coast
Former Labor MP Craig Thomson leaves the Melbourne Magistrates court with his wife Zoe in 2013. Police granted an apprehended violence order on Ms Arnold’s behalf against Mr Thomson last week
News of the arrest follows an earlier development where NSW police secured a restraining order to protect the wife of Mr Thomson.
Zoe Thomson had defended him when he was found guilty of using trade union funds to pay for prostitutes.
Ms Arnold was Mr Thomson’s third wife and by the time he was sentenced they had two daughters.
Police granted an apprehended violence order on Ms Arnold’s behalf at Gosford Local Court on the New South Wales Central Coast on Monday.
The two-year AVO prevents 57-year-old Mr Thomson going anywhere Ms Arnold lives, works or to other places listed in the order.
The former member for Dobell, Mr Thomson was convicted on 65 charges of using Health Services Union funds for personal benefit in March 2014.
It was alleged Mr Thomson spent the money on prostitutes and restaurants during his time as the Health Services Union’s national secretary between 2002 and 2007.
He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, with nine months of the sentence suspended over two years.
His conviction and sentence were later overturned on appeal, with Mr Thomson fined $25,00 and spared jail time after being found guilty on 13 counts of theft.
The fine related to the withdrawals of $5650 from ATMs using union credit cards, money he was not authorised to use on himself.
After the scandal, Mr Thomson lost his seat in the 2013 Federal election. He was subsequently expelled from the Labor Party in 2014 and struck off as a practising lawyer in 2018.
Australian Border Force Assistant Commissioner East and Port Operations Erin Dale said the investigation was part of its effort to stop the exploitation of foreign workers.
‘”Cash for visa” schemes as they are often known, target vulnerable visa holders who may not be aware of Australian laws and workplace entitlements,’ Ms Dale said.