You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

No jail for fraudster in Vic works scam

AAP logoAAP 24/11/2016 Kaitlyn Offer

A man has avoided jail over an alleged conspiracy that cheated Victoria's public transport sector of millions of dollars by awarding contracts fraudulently.

Michael De La Torre, 45, was described as a "key figure at the bottom of a sophisticated conspiracy" to deceive government agencies, sentencing Judge Damian Murphy said in the Victorian County Court on Thursday.

De La Torre is linked to an alleged ring leader and former public servant accused of setting up companies that were then awarded Department of Transport contracts for works, including bus shelters.

It's alleged De La Torre was employed as a dummy director of one of the companies that bid on transport contracts, the court was told.

De La Torre pleaded guilty to 11 counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception and was sentenced to a three-year community corrections order and 300 hours community service.

The charges stem from Operation Fitzroy, the first major investigation of the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission targeting transport department officials.

In the two years De La Torre worked for company, it was awarded 31 contracts worth more than $3.9 million, Judge Murphy said.

Two former public servants and four co-accused have also been charged, with their matters headed to the Supreme Court.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon