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Gladstone ports workers face court over false claims

Gladstone ports workers face court over false claims

WASHINGTON: One former and two present Gladstone Ports Corporation workers faced Gladstone Magistrates Court after using false receipts to claim money they weren’t entitled to. It was just a few of many similar cases that have already been heard or are yet to be heard by the courts after an investigation conducted by the GPC revealed workers were taking advantage of the company’s Health and Wellbeing Scheme, which allows workers to purchase goods and be reimbursed for them.

However, the scheme only allows workers to purchase specific items that directly contribute to the worker’s health and well-being, for example a kayak. But workers were buying items from a Gladstone store that did not fall under the scheme, however in their reimbursement applications they used falsified receipts to make it look as if they did. A search warrant of the store executed by police located the falsified documents. A number of GPC workers have already faced the court, with at least 80 charged on the same offence of false entry in record. This week, a 62-year-old worker with no criminal history pleaded guilty to the charge of false entry in record, but unlike his colleagues he’d tried to crack the system twice.

Kenneth Paul Peatey made two purchases at the Gladstone store, one in 2014 and again in 2015. Both times he used false receipts to be reimbursed for the items, worth more than $600. The court heard he had been employed at the company for 12 years, had two adult children and was a married man of 43 years. Like his colleagues, Peatey was issued a warning from the company and was made to pay back what he was falsely reimbursed for.

Gladstone magistrate Melanie Ho ordered him to pay an $800 fine but did not record a conviction. Co-offenders Angela Marie Glossop, 21, and Rohan Stanley Edward Berry pleaded guilty to the same charge. The court heard the pair were in a relationship and purchased items from the store worth up to $900 on the same day. Defence lawyer Rio Ramos said both of them were under the impression “everyone was doing it”. Ms Ramos said Glossop received a warning from the company, however Berry now worked for himself. Despite this, both had paid back the amount they had been reimbursed for. The pair were both fined $400, with no convictions recorded.