Wesley Hill Hall Committee member convicted

A well-known Castlemaine area businesswoman and former member of the Wesley Hill Public Hall Committee of Management has been found guilty and convicted of obtaining property by deception.
Sociana Murray has been sentenced to complete a 24-month community correction order following an investigation by Victoria’s anti-corruption commission, IBAC.
IBAC’s Operation Esk substantiated allegations of mismanagement of funds by the Wesley Hill Public Hall Committee of Management, which is responsible for running the Wesley Hill Public Hall in Castlemaine.
A former Committee of Management member, Murray entered a guilty plea in the Melbourne Magistrates Court to one charge of obtaining property by deception over a 19-month period between 2014 and 2016.
At Melbourne Magistrates Court on September 30 magistrate Phillip Goldberg ordered Murray to pay $39,785.42 in compensation and to undertake 100 hours of unpaid community work, along with conditions of supervision, treatment and rehabilitation.
The matter had been referred to IBAC by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Heads of departments and council CEOs must notify IBAC when they have reasonable grounds to suspect corruption is occurring or has occurred in their organisation.
During prosecution proceedings legal counsel for Murray had successfully sought to have a suppression order imposed, preventing public media coverage of the matter after initial details were initially released by IBAC.
The Magistrates Court of Victoria has now confirmed that suppression order has been revoked.
IBAC is Victoria’s independent anti-corruption commission that exposes, investigates and prevents public sector corruption and police misconduct.

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