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Australian Mayor Lies About Stolen Gambling Money

9 December 2002

MELBOURNE, Australia – As reported by the Australian Associated Press: "Disgraced former Geelong mayor Frank De Stefano may have gone on a spending spree with $l million (US$563,504) of the $8.3 million (US$4.67 million) of stolen money he claimed to have lost to gambling, the Victorian Supreme Court was told today. The claim that De Stefano had spent almost $1 million on himself and his wife was contested by De Stefano's barrister, Phil Dunn, QC.

"…At today's hearing De Stefano, 53, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of theft. Michele Williams, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), told the court that a senior financial investigator, Geoff Bateman, in an affidavit filed with the court, had found a sum of $939,000 `which goes to personal and business expenses'.

"…De Stefano, of Eastern Beach Road, Geelong, admitted stealing the $8.3 million from eight different clients when he ran an accountancy business between 1995 and April 2000. He claims that all but a fraction of the amount was spent on gambling, mostly at Crown Casino while he was in the grip of a chronic gambling addiction…"

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