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Former union boss allegedly spent $440,000 on corporate credit card, court told

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A former union official accused of racking up $440,000 in personal expenses on his corporate credit card used it to pay for cars, household items and accommodation, a court has been told.

Derrick Belan, who was the National Union of Workers' (NUW) New South Wales secretary, is facing 62 charges.

It is alleged he made false invoices and fraudulent electronic transfers, and misused his corporate credit card between 2011 and 2015.

Dozens of invoices and documents detailing the alleged payments of holiday accommodation and purchases on a cruise were today filed in court — the first day of his hearing at Parramatta Local Court.

Mr Belan has pleaded not guilty.

His lawyer Anton Duc said Mr Belan was "simply not involved in any of the conduct that he is charged with".

"He deceived no-one," Mr Duc said.

Prosecutor, Senior Sergeant Jamie Palmer, said Mr Belan had used corporate credit cards to pay for household items, cars and accommodation.

Snr Sgt Palmer filed dozens of witness statements, emails, invoices, bank statements and tenancy agreements for accommodation, pawn brokers, beauty salons and purchases made on a cruise ship.

During cross examination of Scott Wallace, a senior forensic accountant for NSW Police, Mr Duc put to him that he may have categorised some expenses incorrectly during his investigation.

"In relation [to] roads and maritime services, again if the union owns vehicles they would need to get them registered?" Mr Duc asked Mr Wallace.

"I wasn't aware the union had cars," Mr Wallace replied.

The hearing continues.

The allegations of fraud initially came to light during the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, which Mr Belan gave evidence at.

The commission recommended police investigate allegations of credit card fraud at the NSW branch of the union.

Original Article

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