Director cleared of fraud, company received Council cash
One of the 16 people charged from a corruption probe into Ipswich City Council has beaten a fraud count.
Troy Anthony Byers, 48, was last year charged with defrauding Ipswich City Council of $11,000 when he invoiced it for the cost of hosting a local "all stars" rugby league game in June 2017.
Mr Byers was a sole director and shareholder of the company behind the event, International Legends of League, and had organised the Ipswich match. Promotions for the game featured names such as Petero Civoniceva, Colin Scott and John Hopoate.
But almost a year later, Byers was fighting Crime and Corruption Commission allegations that he had submitted fraudulent invoices for payment to council for what was a "profitable community event".
The charges stemmed from the CCC's now-closed Operation Windage probe into ICC that led to charges against 16 people, including two former mayors and two former chief executive officers. Five people have so far been jailed for corruption from the investigation.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Mr Byers was last month found not guilty of fraud in the Brisbane Magistrates Court after a ruling the firm had received the funds, not him personally.
Mr Byers' defence counsel argued the prosecution had to prove he had "personally dishonestly obtained the money" due to the way it had drafted the charge. Prosecutors stuck by the charge, saying Mr Byers had obtained the funds as a company director.
But Magistrate Judith Daley, in her reasons for decision, found him not guilty on the basis the company, not Mr Byers personally, had received the funds. Mr Byers had been accused by the CCC of having submitted three fraudulent invoices to ICC in 2017 for advertising, two tables at a dinner and corporate event tickets.
He had initially sought a $10,000 sponsorship from ICC, but was advised by then chief operations officer Craig Maudsley to submit three separate invoices for the event, according to Ms Daley's reasons.
"Maudsley further instructed the defendant to contact him via text on Maudsley's private phone and not to be emailed," she said.
Maudsley is currently defending a misconduct charge.
Another charged under Operation Windage is former mayor Paul Pisasale. Pisasale, 67, is yet to be committed to stand trial on charges including corruption and perjury, but is facing a hearing on an extortion claim in July. He is defending the charges.