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Three men charged with conspiring to defraud Australian government

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

It’s alleged between June 2018 and June 2020, the men conspired to direct Department of Finance contracts through preferred suppliers for financial gain.

Three men accused of seeking kickbacks in exchange for Australian government contracts have been charged with fraud.

Abdul El-Debel, 47, and Gopalakrishnan Vilayur, 50, faced the ACT Magistrates Court this morning, both charged with defrauding the Commonwealth and using a public office for self-benefit.

Raminder Kahlon, 36, was charged with one count of fraud.

It's alleged between June 2018 and June 2020, the men conspired to direct Department of Finance contracts through preferred suppliers for financial gain.

The trio were arrested after police swooped on seven properties across Canberra.

It was reported to the department in July last year, prompting an Australian Federal Police investigation.

Today, none of the men entered pleas, and prosecutors didn't oppose their release on bail.

All three men were released on strict reporting conditions and promised to pay $25,000 if they fail to return to court in July.

If found guilty they could each face up to 10 years behind bars.

AFP Deputy Commissioner Ian McCartney said the AFP is committed to identifying and prosecuting anyone who misuses public money for their own greed.

"Fraud is not a victimless crime and when public funds are used for personal gain, people are taking valuable funds away from essential services like hospitals and schools, impacting on all of us," he said.

"This is a complex investigation, involving the analysis of a significant volume of information.

"This includes substantial information referred to the AFP by the Department of Finance, and investigators will continue to conduct financial enquiries to ensure we have a complete understanding of this matter."

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Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/three-men-charged-with-conspiring-to-defraud-the-australian-government/6b64d42e-004b-4d03-98f8-0a4730fedd35

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