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Ex-HSU boss Jackson bailed by Vic court

AAP logoAAP 18/09/2016 Caitlin Guilfoyle

Former Health Services Union boss and whistleblower Kathy Jackson faces a slew of criminal charges over allegations she siphoned almost $500,000 from the union to fund a lavish lifestyle.

The 49-year-old was bailed on Monday after she fronted court flanked by two female supporters.

She was charged on summons last month, but police requested the NSW resident be placed on bail with a string of conditions.

One was the surrender of her passport, but the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard it had already been given to a trustee after Jackson declared bankruptcy.

She's also been told not to contact prosecution witnesses.

Each of the 70 theft and deception charges against Jackson relates to a specific transaction and the alleged offences span from mid-2003 to early in 2011.

She's accused of taking almost $500,000 from the HSU over that time, court documents show.

Among the alleged transactions are payments to airlines and hotels in Hong Kong, Las Vegas and New York.

One charge alleges Jackson received a $63,000 cheque in 2010 over an honorarium entitlement she wasn't authorised to receive.

Others relate to payments allegedly made to a furniture store and a premium auctioneer house.

Jackson was charged by Taskforce Heracles, a joint Victoria and Australian Federal Police operation investigating matters arising from the Royal Commission into Trade Union Corruption and Governance.

She is due to reappear in court on January 24.

Her case would normally come back to court mid-December but her lawyer Philip Beazley asked for a longer than usual adjournment.

He said he needed extra time to digest the large brief of evidence against her, which is about 5000 pages.

Jackson declared bankruptcy last year and owes the HSU about $2.4 million following Federal Court action.

Officers raided her Wombarra home in October 2015.

It's the same address where 45-year-old Sean Fisher, a friend of Jackson's, died on March 2 this year.

Mr Fisher's sister, Jacqueline Fisher, attended Jackson's court hearing with friend Leeanne Hosking on Monday and the pair confronted Jackson on her way out.

Ms Fisher later told media she believed some of her brother's personal items remained at Jackson's property and she wanted them back, especially a Bible that had sentimental value and his mobile phone.

Jackson became a national figure after she blew the whistle on her predecessor, former Labor MP Craig Thomson, and former HSU general secretary Michael Williamson in 2011.

Williamson was jailed for at least five years for leeching almost $1 million from the union and recruiting others to hinder a police investigation.

Thomson was fined $25,000 after he was convicted of 13 counts of theft following cash withdrawals he made from an HSU bank account between 2003 and 2007.

Jackson didn't comment as she left court.

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