Peter Fraser pleads guilty
Fraser, who sat quietly in court dressed in a black suit, black shirt and white tie, was charged in November last year with 68 offences of taking money totalling over $119,000.
However, since then the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew 50 related charges and accepted Fraser’s guilty plea to the remaining 18.
Fraser’s defence lawyer Darryl Quigley told the court his client did not attempt to hide the transactions which were picked up during an audit of LUO’s accounts two years after Fraser left the organisation.
He said Fraser had already repaid $4000 of the money and would continue to do so at $1000 per month.
Mr Quigley said the cheques were written over a two year period from October 2002 in amounts ranging up from $500 to $4600. The cheques were made out to Fraser and signed by directors of LUO.
He said the money was claimed by Fraser as expenses including removalist costs, phone, computer, office expenses, rent and commissions. Mr Quigley said his client believed LUO directors had authorised the expense claims.
Mr Quigley said Fraser believed he was entitled to the money because his contract required him to have a vehicle, computer and mobile phone.
He said Fraser’s behaviour was reckless, in particular, by not providing receipts for some items he claimed.