One feature of Labor and union related frauds I've observed is careful attention to the role of the big boss (and beneficiary) and the fall-guy/bag-man/plausibly-deniable-front-man/doer of dirty work.
Bruce Wilson was to Bill Ludwig as Ralph Blewitt was to Bruce Wilson.
Craig Thomson was to Michael Williamson as Gillard was to Ludwig and so it goes.
Another feature is a focus in electioneering material on allegations of fraud/theft/nest-feathering which are projected onto political rivals. It's uncanny how often those allegations parallel the apparent plans of the critic once elected.
So the actions of Bill Ludwig, the shearer from Queensland in hooking up with the young Wilson from the Pilbara bear a bit of scrutiny.
Here is their pamphlet from the 1989 union election - in which Ludwig was elected President but Wilson missed out on the national secretary job.
Wilson wasn't elected but he continued to enjoy Ludwig's patronage. At a meeting of the AWU's executive council on 28 June, 1990 (by then controlled by Ludwig) this resolution was passed (it's reprinted here from the Judgement of Justice Einfeld of the Federal Court).
Pay-off. The inferential assertion of an unmerited "pay-off" is clear. To Wilson for services to be rendered. The whole judgement is well worth reading, particularly given its authors distinctive competence in matters of fraud.