Second man pleads guilty over university IT fraud

Charges arose from 2015 anti-corruption investigation

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An owner of an IT consultancy has pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme to defraud a number of New South Wales universities.

On 6 November Christopher Killalea pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception, with a further offence to be taken into account on sentencing. An additional charge — using a false document to influence the exercise of public duty — was withdrawn.

Killalea will be sentenced on 20 December.

Killalea and former university IT manager Brett Roberts were the subjects of a 2015 inquiry launched by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Roberts previously held senior IT positions at the University of Newcastle, the University of Sydney and Macquarie University.

He was employed at the University of Newcastle from 2005 to 2007, the University of Sydney in 2010 and 2011, and at Macquarie University from 2012 to 2013.

ICAC found that Roberts netted $86,000 in corrupt payments from a scheme that involved generating fraudulent invoices for Management and Professional Services Pty Ltd (MAPS) — the one-person consultancy operated by Killalea.

The duo entered initial pleas of not guilty to the fraud charges arising from the ICAC investigation.

However, in August Roberts pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception, with a further three offences taken into account on sentencing.

The former IT manager also pleaded guilty to two counts of giving false or misleading evidence before ICAC, with a further offence to be taken into account on sentencing. 

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More about ICACIndependent Commission Against CorruptionMacquarie UniversityRobertsUniversity of NewcastleUniversity of Sydney

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