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Anthony Mundine faces court over Bunnings mask breach allegations: Covid-19 restrictions



Retired boxer Anthony Mundine was back in court on Wednesday over allegations he entered a Bunnings store without a mask.

Retired boxer Anthony Mundine has appeared in court over allegations he breached public health orders by flouting mask rules at a Sydney hardware store.

“The Man” was in July fined for allegedly entering a Bunnings store in southwestern Sydney without wearing a mask and refusing to scan a QR code at the store’s entrance.

Mr Mundine claimed that he had an exemption to not wear a mask and made a purchase before leaving.

Detectives attached to Campsie Police Area Command launched an investigation after they were called to the Bunnings Kingsgrove store on July 20.

Officers then visited a home in South Hurstville where they spoke to Mr Mundine and issued him a $1000 fine for breaking Covid rules.

He was charged with not complying with a noticed direction and his matter was briefly mentioned in Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday.

Mr Mundine did not appear in court and his lawyer John Giang appeared via videolink and was granted a six-week adjournment.

No plea was entered on Mr Mundine’s behalf.

Mr Mundine was fined three times by police during July for allegedly breaching public health orders.

The high-profile and outspoken former athlete was first slapped with a $1000 fine for allegedly flying from Sydney to Ballina on July 9 during the citywide lockdown.

“Officers from Richmond Police District issued a 46-year-old man with a $1000 penalty infringement notice after inquiries revealed he travelled from metropolitan Sydney to Ballina without a reasonable excuse on Wednesday, 7 July, 2021,” NSW Police said in a statement at the time.

The same month Mr Mundine appeared at a Sydney anti-lockdown rally and was issued with a court attendance notice for allegedly breaching the public health order.

Mr Mundine has been outspoken on social media about his anti-vaccination views and has in the past posted links to so-called “freedom” rallies.

“My people don’t get conned in getting the shot,” he wrote on Facebook earlier this year.

“Do your research it’s a death wish.

“F–k the travel for now we fight that sh-t in court it’s all fear mongering.”

Originally published as Anthony Mundine faces court over Bunnings mask breach allegations




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Former Sydney Roosters NRL player and Geordie Shore TV star Daniel Conn in court for breaching AVO with Sydney gym owner



A former NRL player and reality TV star is back in court after breaching an AVO with a Sydney gym owner for the second time.

Ex-NRL and reality TV star Daniel Conn is back in court after he was caught breaching an AVO with a Sydney gym owner for the second time.

Conn was recorded walking across the road from his former workplace Hustle Boxing Gym in Potts Point – a venue he is now not allowed within 100m of – in May this year.

The 35-year-old model last month pleaded guilty to one count of contravening a restriction of an AVO and is set to be sentenced next week.

In late 2019, the former Sydney Roosters backrower scratched up the gym’s front window with a rock and intimidated co-owner Simon Maree after quitting his job at Hustle amid a pay dispute.

Police took out an apprehended personal violence order on December 16, 2019 after Conn admitted to calling his old boss Mr Maree a “dog” and saying “wait until you see what will happen next” during a confrontation at the gym three days earlier.

He went on to breach the order, just days later on December 19, when he rode a black Vespa onto the footpath outside the gym and waved at a staff member before being told “you can’t be here”.

Last year he was given a conditional release order without conviction after pleading guilty in court to property damage, intimidating Mr Maree and contravening the AVO.

The ex-footballer was also known for his appearances on UK reality smash hits Geordie Shore and Ex On the Beach as a love interest of original cast member Vicky Pattison.

He played for the Roosters, the Gold Coast Titans and the Canterbury Bulldogs between 2005 and 2011.

Following his retirement from rugby league at age 25 due to a spinal injury, Conn became the face and global athletic director of the wildly popular fitness franchise F45.

Court documents tendered to Downing Centre Local Court state Conn was seen on Victoria St, Potts Point on May 17, 2021 by a staff member of Hustle gym.

Conn, of Vaucluse, was waiting outside the Holm Cafe before walking directly past the boxing gym on the opposite side of the street.

“In doing so, the accused has breached the place restriction relating to being within one hundred metres of (the gym),” the court documents state.

“At this time the accused was clearly seen by the witness, who recorded the accused on his mobile phone.”

The documents stated police had unsuccessfully tried to contact Conn on several occasions and “suspect he is actively avoiding police”.

He has since been charged and appeared before the court.

Conn’s lawyer Michael Coroneos on Tuesday asked the court to adjourn his client’s sentencing for one week in order to obtain further reports.

Conn has in recent years opened up about his struggles with mental health due to his football career being unexpectedly cut short, causing a loss of identity.

He will be sentenced on November 9.

Originally published as Ex-NRL, reality TV star Daniel Conn in court for breaching AVO with Sydney gym owner




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Hsin-Yu Tsai: Why bank worker stole $3.5m from Commonwealth Bank



A former bank worker who stole $3.5m to pay for a lavish lifestyle has been jailed.

A former Commonwealth Bank employee who ripped off customers to the tune of $3.5m to pay for a lavish lifestyle and appease an abusive ex has been jailed.

Hsin-Yu Tsai, 33, had claimed that she was not motivated by greed when she used her position as a customer service officer to move millions of dollars out of the accounts of unsuspecting clients.

However, a NSW District Court judge ruled that she did reap substantial amounts of money from the scheme and said there was no other option than for her to be jailed.

The court was told that Tsai claimed she was pressured into the offending in order to satisfy her then boyfriend’s desire for expensive watches and clothes.

Judge John Pickering said that according to Tsai, shortly after she moved in with the man, he pressured her to lavish him with material gifts.

Tsai pleaded guilty to three counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and one count of using false documents to gain advantage by deception.

Judge Pickering said aspects of the boyfriend’s behaviour were similar to those of a “domestic predator” and Tsai claimed that he had been violent and abusive.

It was in those circumstances that she began stealing from the bank, the court was told.

She moved $2.4m out of the account of a South African national who lived overseas; however, he did not discover the fraud for another three years.

She also siphoned off money from the term deposit account of another customer and in all stole $3.5m.

She claimed that her then boyfriend was a financial burden on her and had pressured her into buying a $600,000 Ferrari.

“She felt she had to please him and keep him happy because she had no other family to rely on in Sydney. Her parents were overseas and she had been isolated from her friends,” Judge Pickering said.

However, she also used the money for her own gain.

When the relationship ended, they negotiated through lawyers for her to be paid a $1m settlement.

She used the money to travel to Taiwan, China and Europe, bought designer handbags and purchased property.

However, Judge Pickering noted, her offending ceased following the break-up and despite her having the opportunity to continue stealing money over the next three years while she continued to work at the bank.

“Sometimes the proof is in how you live your life after this,” Judge Pickering said.

“ … That needs to be balanced by the fact she made a lot of money including the million dollars she got at the end of her settlement.

“But nevertheless it is a remarkable circumstance that she continued to be employed by the Commonwealth Bank, did not take the opportunity to commit any fraud and placed herself in a completely different life.”

The court was told that with the help of her parents, Tsai had paid back the money she had stolen from the Commonwealth Bank.

Judge Pickering noted she was now working in the health industry, had a young family and had rehabilitated herself.

However, he said there was no other option than to send her to prison considering the amount of money she had stolen.

“It would be an extremely rare scenario where someone who defrauded the bank of $3.5m and was an employee … did not go to jail fulltime,” Judge Pickering said.

Tsai also made full admissions to police and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

She was sentenced to three years and three months in prison, with a 14-month non parole period, meaning she will be eligible for release in December next year.

Originally published as Why Sydney woman stole $3.5m from Commonwealth Bank




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Crown settles China arrest class action for $125m ahead of trial



Crown Resorts has settled for a huge sum ahead of a class action trial over business dealings in China where staff were arrested.

Crown Resorts reached a $125m deal with shareholders after its share price dropped following revelations employees were arrested in China for promoting illegal gambling.

The arrests prompted the Australian company’s share price to plummet 14 per cent in October 2016 and sparked a class action claim led by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.

“Crown’s alleged failures in our case were part of what has become one of the most serious and comprehensive breakdowns in corporate governance in Australian history,” senior associate Michael Donelly said on Friday.

The company agreed to the deal on Friday after a trial was postponed twice this week.

The lawsuit was the only way the shareholders were able to take action effective against the gambling giant, he said.

The 19 Crown employees pleaded guilty to gambling offences and were convicted in June 2017.

The lawsuit claimed the company breached the ASIC Act and aimed to establish the company engaged in “misleading or deceptive” conduct.

Lawyers for the shareholders claimed Crown knew the employees were acting illegally in China and the company engaged in counter surveillance, including code words, removing logos and misleading authorities.

Originally published as Crown agrees to settle for $125m over China arrests class action




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Qld cops, health workers fighting Covid jab mandate granted temporary lifeline by court



A Queensland court has ruled on the legal challenge launched by a group of Queensland police officers and health workers opposing the Covid-19 vaccine mandate.

A group of police officers and health workers fighting their employers’ vaccine mandates have been granted a temporary lifeline by the Supreme Court.

The two groups have launched court action against Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll and the Director-General of Queensland Health, Dr John Wakefield, in opposition to the requirement to get the jab.

Ms Carroll last month said officers needed to have had their first Covid-19 jab by October 4 and their second by January 4 next year or risk being suspended without pay.

Queensland Health employees were required to receive at lease one dose by September 30 and a second by October 31.

Members of the groups are seeking a review of the directions, claiming they affect their “fundamental common law rights and statutory rights and obligations”.

On Tuesday, Justice Jean Dalton extended both groups’ immunities to the direction.

In her judgment, she struck out two paragraphs in the amended applications.

“The directions do, in my view, affect or relate to the rights of the respondents as employees, and do impose conditions on the conduct of the applicants’ callings,” Justice Dalton said.

“Additionally, it seems to me that the directions claim a right to dismiss in certain circumstances.

“I find that the matters which are the subject matter of these applications arise from the directions and are industrial matters, or relate to industrial matters.”

Both cases will now go to a three-day hearing in December, which could decide whether the cases are referred onto the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC).

Last week, the QIRC rejected a case from around 60 police officers and civilians arguing Ms Carroll’s direction was “unlawful”.

Originally published as Qld cops, health workers fighting Covid jab mandate granted temporary lifeline by court




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Jason Alexander Clare: Charges dropped against man accused over alleged bestiality act



A man accused of allegedly raping a woman and forcing her to participate in a bestiality act has walked free from court.

An Adelaide man who was accused of raping a woman and compelling her to participate in an act of bestiality with a dog has had the case against him dropped in court.

Jason Alexander Clare, 22, was charged with engaging in sexual intercourse with a person without consent and compelling a person to engage in an act of bestiality over an incident alleged to have happened on April 1 in the CBD.

But, the defendant had the charges against him dropped in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

At an earlier hearing the police prosecutor said the charges were “likely” to be withdrawn at the next appearance.

The court previously heard Mr Clare had intellectual disabilities and the woman’s version of events “made no sense”.

Christina Chrisakis, for the defence, said in September that the complainant claimed to have been spiked with acid.

The court heard the woman claim that Mr Clare called out to a neighbour who brought a dog over and then somehow disappeared.

“The prosecution will have considerable difficulty proving the charges,” the lawyer said.

“There’s no dog. They can’t find the dog. She said it was the neighbour’s but there is no neighbour with that dog.

“The story doesn’t make sense.”

Originally published as Man accused of compelling woman into bestiality act walks free from court after charges against him are dropped




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Terrorist Abdul Nacer Benbrika argues against continuing detention order



A convicted terrorist who plotted to bomb the MCG and other sites is back in court in a bold attempt to secure his freedom.

A terrorist leader who plotted to bomb the MCG and other Australian landmarks argues he shouldn’t have been given extra time behind bars.

Abdul Nacer Benbrika has spent 15 years behind bars after he was found guilty and jailed for being the leader of Australia’s largest terrorist network. His sentence expired last year.

But Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton successfully argued to keep him in jail until 2023 under a continuing detention order.

The terror plotter’s lawyer Dan Star QC appeared in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday and told the court the judge who ordered Benbrika to stay behind bars should have specified the offences he was at risk of committing if released.

He also argued another ground was that the original judge made an error in law on admissibility of evidence in the case and risk assessments.

The Algerian-born Benbrika headed cells that targeted the AFL grand final in Melbourne, Crown Casino and a nuclear reactor in Sydney.

He was first arrested in 2005 as one of more than a dozen people caught up with Operation Pendennis, one of the country’s largest counter-terrorism investigations.

In 2017 Benbrika’s bid for parole was refused.

He was ordered to spend an extra three years behind bars in December 2020 and his citizenship was also revoked.

The hearing continues.

Originally published as MCG bomb plotter Abdul Nacer Benbrika bid to get out of jail




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Helen Rosamond: Alleged corporate fraudster asks for more resources



An alleged corporate fraudster has claimed she needs more resources if she’s to stand trial on serious charges next year.

A former corporate high-flyer who is alleged to have defrauded the NAB of millions of dollars says she will be unfairly disadvantaged at trial because she cannot pay an expert to comb over a massive forensic accounting report.

Helen Rosamond, the chief executive of events management company Human Group, has pleaded not guilty to 73 fraud charges following an investigation sparked when the bank was tipped off by a corporate whistleblower.

She is alleged to have given kickbacks to Helen Rosamond, who was at the time chief of staff to NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn, as part of an inflated invoices scheme.

Ms Rosamond has pleaded not guilty to a raft of charges, including corruptly offering a benefit, and is due to face a four-month trial in July next year.

However, she has made an application to stay the proceedings, arguing she will be unfairly disadvantaged at trial because of a lack of resources.

The NSW District Court heard on Monday that Ms Rosamond had made the stay application because Legal Aid declined her application to pay for a forensic accountant.

The court was told the crown prosecution was set to rely on a forensic accounting report, which was paid for by the NAB.

The report cost $3.8m, took 25 experts 10,000 hours to prepare, and had a 500-page summary, as well as containing 46,000 pages of data.

Crown prosecutor Karl Prince, who is opposing the stay application, said of the 73 charges that Ms Rosamond was facing, only 12 were directly related to the report prepared by advisory firm McGrathNicol.

“It’s not to the extent where this whole prosecution is reliant on this forensic accounting report,” Mr Prince told Judge Robert Sutherland on Monday.

However, defence barrister Anton Hughes told the court that as well as being knocked back for funding for a forensic accountant, Ms Rosamond was also only approved for funding for one counsel, despite arguing that she required two senior counsel.

He said it represented an “extreme under-resourcing” in a complex matter.

He further said the forensic accounting report was central to the entire case and Ms Rosamond needed to be able to rely on expert evidence.

“The limited availability of legal resources compounds the unfairness which flows from the absence of a suitably briefed expert to consider the material on which the forensic accounting report is based,” Mr Hughes said.

The matter was adjourned to return to court on Wednesday.

Originally published as Alleged corporate fraudster Helen Rosamond asks for more legal resources




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Alleged anti-lockdown organiser Tony Pecora makes bold claims in court



An alleged anti-lockdown organiser has suffered a courtroom setback despite claiming he was ‘almost a lawyer’.

Alleged anti-lockdown organiser Tony Pecora claims he’s “almost a lawyer” after a year of study but failed to change his bail conditions.

The 44-year-old is facing several charges including counts of inciting others to breach public health restrictions by organising anti-lockdown protest in September 2020.

He appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday and attempted to vary his bail conditions.

Mr Pecora, a former candidate for Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, told the court he was “pleading innocent” to all charges and had been on bail for the past year following his arrest.

“I’ve almost become a lawyer in that 12 months with all the studying I’m doing,” Mr Pecora said.

He told the court the bail conditions he faced were “onerous and unreasonable”, and argued they were “impossible” to abide by.

Prosecutor Helen Spowart said there were no issues changing the Middle Park man’s bail so he was no longer subject to a curfew, could assist caring for his father and move house.

But the changes couldn’t be made because his wife – who secured a surety for his release – wasn’t present, Magistrate Matthew White explained.

“The problem you’ve got is the surety is not here so we can’t progress it,” he said.

Mr Pecora also claimed during the hearing he had “enormous evidence of treason” against a local MP and said Premier Daniel Andrews’ actions under the state’s emergency powers were “fraudulent”.

“I’m telling everyone and nobody wants to hear it,” Mr Pecora said.

He is also facing new charges of breaching bail conditions including not to use, create or participate in the use of social media and refrain from using the “Arkwell Tripelligo” alias between October 2020 and July 2021.

Police allege Mr Pecora used a Facebook account with the name to organise the rallies in September 2020 during the state’s second wave of coronavirus outbreaks.

He’s also alleged to have contravened a bail condition of using or participating in social media, complying with the chief health officer’s directions and not attending public gatherings in August, according to charge sheets.

The magistrate adjourned the hearing despite Mr Pecora’s complaints he wanted it dealt with today.

The case will return to court in December.

Originally published as Alleged Melbourne anti-lockdown protest plotter Tony Pecora’s court fail




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