What did Slater and Gordon know and when did the firm know it? The Trust Account ledger and $67,772.30
My questions to Slater and Gordon Limited about its Trust Account Ledger

The devastating effect of writing out the $67,772.30 cheque from the AWU WRA cheque book

Every touch leaves its trace.

Cheques have account numbers, cheque numbers and drawer details (ie the precise name of the account owner) printed on them so that the details don't get lost or misreported in banking systems.

The person who wrote this:

Gillard association
could be expected to recognise this.

Awu workplace reform

The current managing director of Slater and Gordon tells us that Julia Gillard was the partner at Slater and Gordon who acted directly for Ralph Blewitt in the conveyance of 1/85 Kerr Street Fitzroy.

Here now is a paper prepared today by reader StephenJ

We have the statement of Grech that Gillard had the carriage of the Kerr St conveyance. The file contains references to interactions between her and Olive. It makes complete sense that this would be the case given such factors as her attendance at the auction, preparation of the Power of Attorney and relationship with Wilson.

 

Regulation 3.3.9 (5) of the current Legal Profession Regulations requires the name of the person from whom relevant money has been received to be recorded on a receipt. This information should also appear in the Cash receipts book and the ledger. The same requirement would have existed in 1993.

 

S& G would have received daily statements from the bank on their Trust Account in order that their ledger would accurately reflect the funds available. It is from such statements that their entries in their Trust records would have been made.

 

The information given to Ian Cambridge by the Commonwealth Bank includes a copy of the actual cheque it processed to negotiate the movement of $67,772.30 from the AWU WRA and deposited into the Slater and Gordon Trust Account.   That information is at odds with the source of funds recorded in the Slater and Gordon Trust Account ledger.

The entry of this information into the Ledger is a routine matter and given that the Trust Account was audited would have been correctly done in the great majority of cases. It is highly likely that it did not occur in this case due to the intervention of someone in the firm with some level of authority. The obvious candidate for this is Gillard. She was the person who had the carriage of the matter, she had knowledge of the parties and she had the authority of a partner.

If that is so, it demonstrates the following. 

1.She now knew irrefutably that the AWU WRA was not an election slush fund.

2.Assuming that the Association had been a legitimate body to this stage it was now acting contrary to its rules (her rules).

3.The statements she subsequently made in her termination interview about Blewitt's motivations for the investment and status as a sophisticated investor were bald faced lies. '

4.Above all it shows that at this stage she had a guilty mind as to the source of the funds.

Whilst S&G appear to have breached the regulations covering Trust Accounts, the overwhelming significance of the recording of the deposit is what it potentially shows about Gillard’s state of mind at this time and the implications that flow from that about her involvement as a Principal in the whole scam.

 

Comments

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David

I pray each day that she gets caught, not because I want to see her behind bars. I pray for the good of those hard working folks that try and live a straight and proper life and the trust they need to have in our democracy.

One of the foundation stones of a good democracy is to have people in power of good and trustworthy ilk. Gillard and few of her colleagues fail that test miserably.

Keep up the Good work MS and all you contributors, for the sake of the country, these people need to be held accountable.

Go Vic Pol, we are counting on you, give it your best shot.

The Viking

Where's the umpire?
The game's over and the players are trashing the court!!

seadogger


I work in the marine industry and am required to have a MSIC card...Maritime Security Identifacation Card introduced by the Howard Govt.

To get one of these requires a State Police Security Check, a Federal Police Security check, An ASIO security check and I am just a dumb barge driver. how is she still in the highest office in the country??????????????????????????????

Glenn

That's just about checkmate as far as I'm concerned.Well done Michael,cant wait for the mini series.

Glenn

That's just about checkmate Michael,well done,cant wait for the mini series.

Spin Baby, Spin

I disagree that Gillard could have influenced the Accounts Department - the Department who were responsible for drawing the receipt correctly. Gillard was only a salaried partner. She was an employee. She was not an equity partner.

I'd say it was Olive who filled out the Trust Account Receipt Requisition with the drawer "R Blewitt". There's nothing wrong with that - she assumes it is Ralph's money. I've done that too and very rarely where I got the drawer wrong the Accounts Department always came back to me as the conveyancer to say I'd filled in the Requisition incorrectly and it had been corrected to match the bank records. They always made a bit of a song and dance about it when that happened.

It wouldn't have mattered what story I made up, it would be impossible to get the Accounts to change their receipt so it didn't match the Bank Statements. How on earth this went through in Slater and Gordon is anyone's guess. My guess is sloppiness in the Accounts Department. I don't think Gillard had anything to do with it. I think Olive's filled in the Receipt Requisition incorrectly and it's the Accounts Department that's stuffed up by not checking their Bank Statements. It's not Olive's fault - it's actually the Accounts Department's fault for not picking this up and alerting Olive - who would have then alerted her boss Nick Styant-Browne OR Gillard. But in any case, the Accounts Department issued the receipt incorrectly and once that happened, it made it impossible for Olive or NSB to work out what was actually going on. A run of bad bad luck in my opinion. And very embarrassing for Slater and Gordon. If S&G were upfront and honest about what occurred, I wouldn't have a problem with the stuff-up. It's the hiding of the stuff-up that has me angry. If it was an honest stuff-up why not be open and honest about it? We all stuff-up occasionally and there's nothing wrong with an honest stuff-up. In fact I always found if I admitted the stuff-up it was always easily corrected as people ARE understanding. Including those that regulate lawyers Trust Accounts.

What people are not understanding about is when others try and hide a stuff-up and blame someone/something else. That's when the chickens come home to roost as I think they are doing now.

JohnL

StephenJ - what a marvellous piece of analysis! Very logical and very thought-provoking. Congratulations! :-)

Andrewk

Slater and Gordon..? got a problem!

JohnL

Spin Baby, Spin - when you say that the chickens are now coming home to roost, I take it you are referring to the headless chooks? :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3HtNCv3xvM

Hugo

We come from a penal colony and should, in one sense, be delighted that our PM may prove to be a felon....it kind of justifies the colonisation.

WWW.ABORTIONTRUTH.COM

ROYAL COMMISSION!! A SLATER & GORDON GATE COVER-UP??

Goodness me, this more than credible concise dynamite statement of investigation has sent a chill down my spine. I imagine that JuLia Gillard and her "scumbag" supporters will never sleep again after reading this chilling account of what actually happened. They will be too afraid to answer a knock on the door, fearing the law! She is ancient history!

This diligent, dynamite investigator must be highly commended and appropriately remunerated big time! No doubt now the damned useless authorities will be forced to quickly take much belated?? legal action against the impostor Labor prime minister JuLia Gillard. Should she be charged? Will she plead insanity?

Furthermore, the missing in action, dreadfully blind Labor Governor General Ms. Quentin Bryce must immediately sack this rotten Labor government and then resign herself!


Thank you good and faithful servant StephenJ, a true servant of good people! HALLELUJAH!

Allan Cox

That's a very good point, seadogger; something 'we, the people' have been wrestling with for the past three years.

martinR

Given Gillard's previous efforts to deceive the corporate affairs commissioner into incorporating the AWU WRA, and the creation of the false SPOA, I think perhaps you are being over generous to Gillard in assuming that she had no input into how the 67k was wrongly recorded on the trust account ledger. Maybe you are correct in stating that it was most likely Olive who made the entry, but was she working under instructions? I'd say yes, most likely.

Ranga

Spin, for those of us who have never had dealings with a trust account could you tell us exactly what information is detailed on trust account bank statements (& therefor the information S&G would have received at the time re that cheque).

My run of the mill bank statements just say that it is a cheque deposit, the branch where the deposit was made & the amount - they give no details of the account the cheque was drawn from.

I understand that the operators of trust accounts have a duty to find out exactly where money deposited in to their trust account has come from to ensure it is not the proceeds of a crime - but how do they determine this?

Lola

Excellent point .. Extend this to all standing for public office must have the same checks done and the outcome to be made public before any election.
Then we can make informed decisions ,,
if they are crooks = no job ,
same rules as would apply to the rest of us

mel

The Rhode Island Red, perchance?

mel

There's a certain symmetry!

Bart

Michael,
sorry off topic but re NBN in Victoria , TRANSFIELD are NOT paying subcontractors.
Many are quitting the project.
These idiots actually get paid 50% upfront by NBN.
Then they gobble it up in ludicrous overheads , offer the subcontractors extremely poor construction rates and then don't pay , finding all sorts of reasons to drag it out.
A shocking situation that requires a lot more press .
Thanks , love all your work and hope the ranga's days are numbered.

Spin Baby, Spin

As a former conveyancer myself I'd have to say "no". I think it was an unfortunate stuff-up. Knowing how the accounts department and legal offices work, I'd have to say that Gillard would have had no authority and say in how the accounts department wrote the receipt out... it would only have been altered with the authority of an equity partner. Gillard was not that. She was an employee partner, still an employee. And I can't see an equity partner sticking their neck out that far for Gillard - the Accounts department would have required the say-so of all the equity partners to make such a change. And then you'd have to get it past the auditors... no I think all the evidence points to an accounts dept stuff-up without any involvement from Gillard. There's nothing to link Gillard personally to how the payment was entered in the trust account.

Spin Baby, Spin

Michael, I think it worth going back and re-looking at the subpoenaed documents handed over to the Court now we are aware Slater and Gordon knew at the time of answering the subpoena the cheque came from the AWU-WRA and not R Blewitt personally... Did they answer the subpoena truthfully?

Spin Baby, Spin

From my understanding the bank statements on Trust Accounts set out who the drawer is. It is a requirement designed to stop fraud happening by using trust accounts as vehicles to wash money through the system. It has to be traceable and the lawyer has a duty of care to ensure that the transactions going through their accounts are above-board. Money from a union account to pay for a private purchase should have had alarm bells ringing all over the place.

Chookums

OK, so if Olive nominated Blewitt in as the source of the funds on the paperwork - who told her the money was coming from his account? I just find it hard to believe she would have made that assumption all on her own, given the glimpse we have had into her thoroughness regarding other details.

And if Blewitt's name was not on the funds transfer or cheque, why did the accounts department not query it which, as you have pointed out, they should have done as a matter of course?

I have lots of questions but I have no doubt at all that SLAG have tried to cover up a major issue and that "I did nothing wrong" is another completely blatant lie.

Spin Baby, Spin

LOL! Yes that chook, plus a few others not in that ad!

Mariah Dan

I see your point....but don't write yourself down seadogger with "I am just a dumb barge driver" (nobody is a dumb "anything" )

Old Soldier

Michael,

You, and we, ask 'Why doesn't the media pick this story up?'

Apart from the laziness / poor training / low journalistic standards and possible bias of journos and editors ... it's also possible we/you are just not giving them a good enough headline. We both know that's what they really want. Complex stories are too hard.

So perhaps we can bring things to a head by giving them a headline they can't refuse.

What if, for instance, you or we were to arrange a major press conference. Promote it widely and have representatives of all interested parties present, or at least invited. Invite the most senior representatives possible from every group or party (political, coppers, church leaders, soldiers, teachers, unions ... etc, etc) to attend. Let them know their non-attendance will be specifically mentioned.

Then, once everyone is gathered together, drop the bombshell. Make a statement which specifically accuses Gillard of something pernicious and, obviously, completely substantiable. Provide copies of the proof. In effect, 'call her out'. Make such a claim, so publicly and so specifically, she won't be able to let it stand.

If the headline is good enough, the media pack AND the editors will be compelled to run the coverage -- especially when they see the quality of the large and diverse audience watching them from the back of the room.

Just a thought.

You've done a fantastic job so far. It's time the MSM got serious about this, too. Maybe our thinking now should be 'what can we do to make it impossible for them to pass up'?

Cheers,

Harry Won A Bagel

Thank you StephenJ and Michael. Until now I did not fully understand the fuss over the cheque. Now I see that if funds were stolen, this is the point at which the bandit(s) left the building.

Truth_Will_Out

I have always believed that JEG was the driver of this scam, and Wilson and Blewitt accessories. After, seeing Wilson being interviewed on 7.30 Report late last year, it just confirmed my view.

Spin Baby, Spin

As a conveyancer myself, it's what I would have filled in on the receipt. I'd asked for money from the client, and the client tells me he's put money in... I go to fill out a receipt and put R Blewitt on it. The last thing I'd expect is for the client to be accessing some other account other than his own. When it happened to me the accounts dept always came and said "it wasn't from Mr X, it was from Mr and Mrs X..." and I'd say well that's OK, not a problem. It's his money that's gone into the account, I've just not known he's drawn it from a joint account with his wife. If a client had drawn money from another account, like a company account, I would have spoken with my boss about it to check that we didn't need to do some loan documents or whatever to reflect a portion of the money came from another entity. I really don't think this is a big issue in of itself, I think a genuine mistake was made by a couple of people. What is the big issue is the coverup that appears to be following it.

Mariah Dan

Hmmm, I don't necessarily agree with you that JG wasn't involved. Couldn't she have instructed Olive to write a receipt out in in certain way? So, agreed, Olive might have done the receipt, but she was acting on her instructions from Gillard (possibly?)

Daz of Bronte

G/Day MS,

Mate i seriously love your work on all of this, mainstream hardly reports it. But im curious here are the Vic Police waiting until after the 14th Sept 2013 before they swoop ? given that we have a Serving Prime Minister who has failed on every count ?

I doubt the Vic Police would charge a serving PM, so why is all of this dragging out for some long ?

Isnt time some justice was served ? what are the Vic Police waiting for ? if this was the FBI shed have already been charged.

Cheers

Boggzy from Perth

I'm no lawyer and I don't know much about trust accounts but I agree with you up to a point. I have a theory, following on from yours.

This is what may have happened. Olive receives the $67,000.00 cheque from the AWU WRA and not from Ralph Blewitt. She asks Gillard what the story is and Gillard tells her that Ralph has borrowed the money from the AWU WRA and that he is going to pay the Association back in due course. So Olive was directed by Gillard, to enter in the trust account ledger, that it is from Ralph Blewitt, which she does. (Taking it on Gillard's word, that the money is getting paid back into the AWU RWA account by Ralph). When the accounts department does the reconciling, they spot the difference and ask Gillard or Olive what the story is and are told the same story, that Gillard told Olive. Everything is above board, according to Gillard. They are told not to worry about a small technicality because the house is in Blewitt's name anyway and so is the mortgage. (Not that Ralph knew about the mortgage!)
It was covered up by Gillard to hide the truth of where the money actually came from. She is such a nice piece of work, isn't she! Well, that's my two bobs worth. Just a theory.

MikeT (WA)

Who were the Equity partners at SLAG ?

Boggzy from Perth

The same thing is happening over here in Perth in the building industry. We are owed $300,000.00 for work that we have done one of Roxan's Super GP Clinics. We have only been paid $30,000.00. We took this job on to get our company out of the pooh, yet it looks like we are now in more pooh.

David

Except of course that in the 18th century, the felons committed a crime, were sentenced and then came to Australia - in that order.

It's all topsy turvy here.

Harry Won A Bagel

I'm with you TWO. I can only see one of this triumvirate that had the brains and skill to put it together.

Spin Baby, Spin

There is a story in the subpoena now:

"Sometime prior to Ms Gillard's departure interview, the partners at Slater and Gordon had reconciled their Trust Account records with the bank statements for that account. They discovered an irregularity with the entry in the trust account showing the source of the funds for the $67k used in the purchase of the Kerr Street property.”

The Partners then proceeded to provide a copy of the Trust Account Statement to the Industrial Relations Court roughly a year later in response to a Subpoena. They knew the Trust Account Statement they were providing was inaccurate and it appears made no effort to explain that they became aware prior to Gillard’s departure that there were inaccuracies and the correct information was the cheque came from the AWU-WRA.

What does this say about the ethics of the firm at Slater and Gordon? Providing documents on subpoena to the Court which they new to be incorrect or at the least stunningly incomplete? Why did they never correct their Trust Account Ledger? Why did they provide inaccurate records to the Court?

Have a look at the subpoenaed documents and reconcile that with the above statement:

http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2012/12/the-subpoena-to-slater-and-gordon-for-the-conveyancing-and-mortgage-files.html

Truth_Will_Out

"There's nothing to link Gillard personally to how the payment was entered in the trust account"

There is also nothing that categorically absolves her.

Ranga

Thanks for that Spin.
I am sure I am not the only one who can now see why this should have been picked up immediately by someone at S&G.

Flying Tiger Comics

Spin, it isn't the way you describe it for a solicitor as opposed to a conveyancer.

Remember who how lawless this firm is- the unionist files were semi-autonomous, and people like gillard were hired purely as conduits for constant union work.

A similar defence housing set of clients were handled at a firm I worked at many years ago and the partner in charge did indeed tell accounts to write them up, even going so far as to be quite creative with the receipts etc.

Put simply- and knowing how dodgy the whole set of files and the conduct was, it is far less believable that gillard would allow a paper trail she didn't have control of than that she did her best in her third rate clumsy and quite stupid way to cover her tracks and fake up the receipts.

And remember as well that the total payments made for their various crooked activities are not reflected in the receipts from the law firm or any known record in the files.

In other words there never has been an accurate trust reconciliation of this matter.

Which raises a massive question regarding the relevant law society, not just slater and gordon.

Jeff of FNQ

Gillard probably thinks she's coated with this stuff at the moment:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/IPM8OR6W6WE?feature

Harry Won A Bagel

For example, how many of your average WA union reps even now would be aware that non-profit incorporated associations in WA are not subject to normal corporate reporting requirements. I've been in several and did not know that. I reckon I was scammed into doing a lot of unnecessary work!

Jollybagman

I don't give a *F* about S+G internal processes and procedure. They obviously broke down and Gillard was deeply involved. If I was Olive Bresnahan or accounts department back in the day, i'd be disgusted about some of the crap posted here that in some way they made the error. Never heard such BS in my life.
What I give more of a *F* about is what is largely ignored: what Paul Howes said. Take another very good look at this article....
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/law-firm-was-highly-unethical/story-fn59noo3-1226496619881
....it seems Gillard is the person of controversy yet again. Why is that? HOW many times is her name going to come up before people stop this 'oh procedure goes like this and that' and simply look at the obvious?

Jollybagman

Here's further reporting (see link). Oliva Palmer (Olive Bresnahan was her name back in the day). Cops went all the way to Sunshine Coast to interview her and then she went to the Melbourne cop shop a month later. WHY is that you reckon?
If it was simply a case of Palmer or accounts department stuffing up an entry, the cops would've have gone to this trouble. It would've taken 5 seconds to establish Olive made an error and accounts didn't pick it up & then everyone covered up the typo.
Cops (expensive fraud squad no less) don't go to so much trouble to investigate simple errors. They have stuff-all budget to go on an empty trail. They're not interested in S+G internal process procedures. They've seen thousands of 'sound procedures' broken down to conceal a fraud. They're more interested in how the procedure broke down and who was responsible in infiltrating. Again, if I was Olive Palmer or account workers back in the day who did the right thing, i'd feel very hard done by regarding some of the posts here.... http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/investigations/slater-gordon-secretary-quizzed-as-police-step-up-awu-inquiries/story-fng5kxvh-1226555453981

Reggie

Whaahooooo!
Definitely no fence-sitting splinters in the butt here with our MSNews' JBMan.
Go you very very good thing JBMan!

Norules4 them@sittingduck.whoohoo

And I guess she just forgot to open a file and forgot to have the required number of members in the association and forgot to witness the poa correctly and forgot to bill the sophisticated investor and forgot the real purpose of the association and took part in a record of interview and gave up her job. Poor Julia. There is a song bad luck, I ve had bad luck since I was born Poor Julia.

Jollybagman

Question is WHY did Grechy from S+G, want AWU (presumably via Piggy Howes) to unchain S+G from AWU-bound legal privilege so they can release the Gillard maleficence files in order to protect their reputation (and WHY is 'reputation' an issue if Gillard 'did nothing wrong' btw lol), YET S+G themselves THEN suddenly decided in an apparent about-face that they could not find the very files they wanted Piggy's authorisation to release after such exhaustive search? Hahahaha....
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/law-firm-was-highly-unethical/story-fn59noo3-1226496619881
.....Meh, S+G were in desperate straits. They wanted to protect their reputation, but realised that releasing the Gillard-related files would more damage their reputation rather than protect it. Hence they hid the files.
I mean, didn't Grechy indicate in the link above that he wanted to 'speak freely'? What happened to THAT premise?
Obviously both S+G and AWU (via Howes) were trying to protect their interests against Gillard's improper practice.
But why IS that?
After all, she has 'done nothing wrong' right?
Howes has her back and apparently Grechy does too. But only to a point.
Their interests are aligned with the current PM, until such point something is proven that aligning their interests with Gillard kills them.
And that's what that article in link above was all about. FEAR. The want to have a bob each way; but the plumb-bob might turn out to be a lemon.
Both Piggy and Grechy are very much of interest to the fraud squad investigation given the article in link above and can expect a knock on the door courtesy of the cop shop.
The Abbott no-confidence motion next week in Parliament will most definitely be a temptation ;)

Vicki Sanderson

Spin Baby, Spin - I have long been an admirer of your perceptive comments regarding this saga. But I think you are wtong on this issue. What occurred with the deposit must be seen in the context of the entire AWU WRA fraud. In normal circumstances I would agree that such an accounting stuff up could occur in the manner you suggest - although I feel for poor Olive in this finger pointing. But there are too many unexplained discrepancies and interested parties involved here from the PofA to the actual mortgage. There is surely more than "sloppiness" going on here when you trace the development of the scam from its inception. As informed a person as Ian Cambridge certainly could not comfortably reconcile the legal procedures - or lack of them.

Face the Consequences

Its like getting a cheque from the real AWU and recording in the books that it is from Paul Howes.....or getting a cheque from Slater and Gordon and recording in the books that it is from Andrew Grech....accounts people don't do that.

Az

I was wondering the same thing in light of Spin Baby Spin's comments on how an equity partner could possibly have facilitated this. Was Bernard Murphy an equity partner at Slater and Gordon? Has it ever been established exactly why he was asked to leave the firm?

Arch

Because that other dim wit, Oakshott, had a dream where Gillard appeared as the nation's answer to it's imaginary woes. Buoyed by Oakshott's revelation, Gillard then appointed Wayne the Goose as financial controller. This dream has since been disputed.

Sea Dogger - can't you take them all for a ride on the tug boat? Here's a chaff bag....

underminder

Proverbs 30:20

"This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, 'I've done nothing wrong."

Leigh

Till someone is given a definate indication by the police that they are facing possible jail time for their involvement.
We the public are not going to get much more information.
Once that happens everything the police are doing will go into overdrive.
Some one will roll over for a deal.
I would be absolutely certain the police wil have identified the weakest link/links and are right now working on them.
Gillard and Wilson are in tune in blaming Blewitt.
The police aren't stupid.
And neither are the people here.
When the police do get around to talking to her, the line "I've done nothing wrong"is not going to help her one iota.
They will know a hell of a lot more than she thinks they know and that will be her downfall.
There has been a lot smarter than her who thought they could put it over the police.
I'm simply staggered at the amount of people involved in the cover up and how far they are spread through society.
At the time I could understand a couple with a vested interest keeping mum but the rest of them.
And there must be thirty or so directly involved in the cover up.
Why in the mid ninetys would so many of them involve themselves in the fraud knowing they were covering up a crime?
I just don't get it.

Mike

I work in an FX business, and we absolutely cannot get a payment past accounts in the event the source of funds doesnt match. The risk of falling foul of AML through wilful blindness is such that payments are rejected or held until full verification of the source is complete.

It upsets the clients but tough luck, we dont mess with money laundering legislation.

I agree, JG was unlikely to have influence over the recording of records.

Numberwang

Maybe Swannie should hold a chook raffle to fill in the hole in the country's finances?

A Tangled Webb

detI agree with you entirely. I can not imagine a scenario where Gillard would be influencing Accounts to enter the source of the monies being Blewitt if Accounts were aware the cheque was drawn by AWU WRA. It may be that Ollie was of the belief the monies came from Blewitt personally and there would be no reason for her to suspect otherwise. The monies have been entered as being received on 22/3/1993 which is the same day as settlement so I am sure Ollie would have been frantically checking with Accounts that morning to check the monies had arrived to enable her to organise Bank cheques for settlement. She would have let Accounts know the amount she was waiting on, the client's name and the relevant file details. Perhaps the slip up occurred at that point. Nevertheless, the mystery still remains as to why, when the Bank Statement and Trust Ledger were reconciled and the error detected, it was never amended in the Trust Ledger. Like you I do not understand why Slater & Gordon would not have declared the error and what appeared to be laundering of monies through their Trust Account. I always found the only way when an error was made (and we are all human and make errors occasionally no matter how hard we try not to) was to admit my mistake to clients and resolve the error. Clients were always understanding and returned.

Spin Baby, Spin

Hi Vicki, I respect your views and can understand why you've come to that opinion. Having worked in a legal office and knowing that the accounts department works separately and that Gillard could not have "told" them what to do - they have accountancy requirements that then get audited and the auditor would have picked up the discrepancy and reported it if this particular file gets audited - I've formed a different view that Gillard had nothing to do with it. And that Olive, while she may have filled out an incorrect receipt requisition form, is in my book blameless in this. What's unforgivable though is the subsequent cover-up.

A Tangled Webb

I am also an ex-Conveyancer and agree with the analysis by Spin Baby, Spin entirely. I was about to make a comment similar to the one posted by SBS but then noticed her (or his) comment. Sometimes I think it becomes difficult to imagine Gillard was not pulling strings everywhere but I seriously doubt she was involved in the Trust Ledger entry. Remember, whatever Gillard did she did in secret. To be marching in to Accounts instructing them how to enter monies received in a Trust Ledger would alert Accounts she was up to no good should they notice a discrepancy.

seeker of truth

Just remember that it was an "AWU" cheque. Accounts would have canvassed the partners dealing with the AWU accounts. Accounts did not know of the existence of the AWU WRA as an entity - no file ever existed in this name. Accounts would have questioned the AWU partners Gillard or Murphy about the direct deposit from AWU-WRA. Olive did not know of the involvement of AWU-WRA in this conveyance scam; this was the first time its name popped up. She would have had to be instructed by Gillard if she was to have advised accounts to make the entry in the name of Mr Ralph Blewitt. Other than that, Bernard Murphy could have had some input as he helped set up AWU-WRA and knew of Gillard's involement with this association.

una

Can a sitting Prime Minister be charged? I would really like to know.

Chookums

Thanks for that Spin Baby, Spin - your 'hands on' experience is invaluable. As you noted, discrepancies CAN and DO arise - and need to be dealt with in a certain way.

But my-oh-my how much messier can this all get before it blows!

Face the Consequences

It would be nice to know who did the audit, if that is how SLAG found out about this error and get the paperwork about it from them.
The un-redacted interview that resulted in jeg leaving SLAG would also be very handy. Although I suppose VicPol have this already :)

Andrewk

Yes I think its that simple 67K comes into the account.. WHO told them," thats to be debited to Ralph blewitt"

julie

So far we have more questions than answers. If these allegations are true, why have there been no visible consequences. Worried it sends a message that crime pays. Queen Julia sits on her throne and the mainstream journalists kowtail to her every move.

To Kowtow is to bow down subserviently - it is a Japanese term.

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

"The statements she subsequently made in her termination interview about Blewitt's motivations for the investment and status as a sophisticated investor were bald faced lies."

I find it odd that anyone could read those statements as Gillard trying to prove, or as asserting that Blewitt was a 'sophisticated investor'. It seems clear to me that everyone at the interview knew then that this was not the case and that Gillard was saying how it appeared at the time.

I also find it odd how StephenJ thinks anyone can lie about Blewitt's motivations except Blewitt. All Gillard can lie about is what her understanding was, what she was told, what evidence she had to guess at his motivations.

By the way, does the phrase "sophisticated investor" appear in the transcript of interview?

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

There is nothing that categorically absolves any equity partner from having done it either. There is nothing that absolves DOB either. You will recognize those two true statements as pretty useless in determining what happened. Your statement is no better.

john greybeard

You forget that Gillard was personally acquainted with Blewitt socially as well as professionally. She knew him well enough to denounce (and smear) him in the recent press interview. This was not 2012 knowledge this was 1995 knowledge.

Open your mind you have only till 14 September to understand the real world.

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

" ... who told her [DOB or someone in accounts] the money was coming from [Ralph Blewitt] ..."

Ignorance of the procedures doesn't seem to stop others from speculating, so I will speculate also. Perhaps the money is deposited into S&G account in Perth. The bank sends a telegram saying "Confirm deposit of $xxx into S&G trust account by Ralph Blewitt"

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

We also know, I think, Ralph Blewitt asserted privilege in relation to the subpoena. (The source of the funds involves him in money-laundering). Some things (like disclosures to one's lawyer) are not admissible as evidence in a court. And it might be that inadmissible evidence does not have to produced in response to a subpoena.

If S&G held something back in response to a subpoena, after their client asserted privilege, I would assume they have at least one QC's opinion filed away justifying their decision.

Allan

A 'dumb' barge is one without a source of propulsion. Not one operated by a 'dumb' person.

Old Rooster

Short answer yes. But it's a pain having to have her security detail tag along. It will be easier after she is not PM and the security detail becomes smaller.

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

Did S&G get the cheque? I thought from what Michael Smith wrote recently that Ian Cambridge get the cheque from the bank. You think Blewitt posted the cheque to S&G (as he once said) and S&G deposited it in their bank account and S&G went ahead with settlement even though it wasn't a bank cheque or a direct deposit?

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

"I'm simply staggered at the amount of people involved in the cover up and how far they are spread through society."

That is usually the sign of an untenable theory. Simple stuff-up is usually more tenable, which is why Spin Baby Spin's suggestion that there was an understandable error in the accounts department is more plausible.

Steve J

SBS- Thank you for your perspective on this.
Bearing in mind that all Practices will not adopt the same procedures it would, I think, be helpful to the discussion if you could outline the steps that would have been taken in the last firm you worked at in the following scenario.
1.It’s the day of settlement for a conveyance.
You are expecting cleared funds to appear in the firms trust account.
How are you informed that this has happened?
2.As a direct deposit is involved the only external source of information as to the payer has presumably come from the bank.
What is the process for the issue of a receipt for a direct deposit and the necessary entries in the Trust Account records.
Who does what?
3.If you issue a requisition for a receipt how do you obtain information about the payer. Is there any process by which you check whether this information agrees with the advice provided by the bank?
Olive would have been as aware of the Trust account requirements as you obviously are.
Is it common to guess who the payer is and expect those responsible for the accounting entries to correct any error?
4. Prior to attendance at settlement is a copy of the Trust Ledger for the client examined and put on file?
Does the Partner responsible examine the file.
The copy of the Ledger we have seen was printed off in 1994 for archive purposes.
Apparently there is now information available that in 1995 S&G discovered that there was a disagreement with the information on the Trust Account bank statement and the ledger so it would appear that the information entered in the ledger could not (wholly?)have come from the Bank Statement.
Systems are set up involving such things as receipt requisitions and division of responsibilities to avoid such occurrences.
I would assume that the instances of such mistakes would, in the absence of a system failure, be rare.
We then find that a case in which it did occur involves what can only be described as tainted funds.
Very bad luck indeed, which is why I said it was highly likely that some intervention in the normal processes had occurred.
Thank you again for your contributions.

Steve J

SBS- Thank you for your perspective on this.
Bearing in mind that all Practices will not adopt the same procedures it would, I think, be helpful to the discussion if you could outline the steps that would have been taken in the last firm you worked at in the following scenario.
1.It’s the day of settlement for a conveyance.
You are expecting cleared funds to appear in the firms trust account.
How are you informed that this has happened?
2.As a direct deposit is involved the only external source of information as to the payer has presumably come from the bank.
What is the process for the issue of a receipt for a direct deposit and the necessary entries in the Trust Account records.
Who does what?
3.If you issue a requisition for a receipt how do you obtain information about the payer. Is there any process by which you check whether this information agrees with the advice provided by the bank?
Olive would have been as aware of the Trust account requirements as you obviously are.
Is it common to guess who the payer is and expect those responsible for the accounting entries to correct any error?
4. Prior to attendance at settlement is a copy of the Trust Ledger for the client examined and put on file?
Does the Partner responsible examine the file.
The copy of the Ledger we have seen was printed off in 1994 for archive purposes.
Apparently there is now information available that in 1995 S&G discovered that there was a disagreement with the information on the Trust Account bank statement and the ledger so it would appear that the information entered in the ledger could not (wholly?)have come from the Bank Statement.
Systems are set up involving such things as receipt requisitions and division of responsibilities to avoid such occurrences.
I would assume that the instances of such mistakes would, in the absence of a system failure, be rare.
We then find that a case in which it did occur involves what can only be described as tainted funds.
Very bad luck indeed, which is why I said it was highly likely that some intervention in the normal processes had occurred.
Thank you again for your contributions.

JohnL

Perhaps our beloved Treasurer, Wayne Goose, is mindful of the Australian definition of genius - a man who can raffle the same chook twice and still win it for himself!

pennyoz

Too many forgots. She is also a pathological liar. She's told so many porkies they no longer might even be lies in her head.

As Ray Hadley puts it:

If she told me it wasn't raining I'd have to go outside to check.

pennyoz

From the aggressive picture painted of them of their modus operandi I would say perhaps there comes a point where it's coverup and documents then held by interested parties with something to worry about, then you keep documents ready to be able to prove your innocence SHOULD IT EVER BE NEEDED.

Until it is needed, silence is the best weapon.

pennyoz

Call me mean but I hope she is guilty as hell. Yes. I am vindictive towards her for the hell she put me through. Ignoring me. Lying to me. Treating me like I'm an idiot. And perpetuating her turmoil.

Magpie

I think the problem is, S & G thought they had covered by getting rid of Gillard and losing -AWU a/c. When selfish arrogant Gillard thought she would enter politics and one day be PM the fraud was bound to be resurrected. If Gillard had not entered politics nothing would have progressed. As for the lack of interest by Law Society....they are protecting their own. So with Law Society, S&G, Murphy, Roxon, Shorten etc she thought she was safe.
Dennis Shanahan thinks she might be dumped before election because of polls. I think this matter which must be known by Crean and co will also be used as a reason. Aparently Libs are prepared for a change of Labor leader and not necessarily Rudd.

Alf  Welch

Realising an honest stuff up would have had to have been followed by an enquiry by S&G as to why the AWU-WRA account had been used for a private individual's benefit.
S&G knew what was going on and willfully ignored it.
The conflict of interest was glaringly obvious.
S&G's partial bailout in getting rid of Gillard and Murphy was just not ethically good enough.

Percy Phelps

This popped up a video ad too - 3 in a row - shooting for 4 now...

Glor

SteveJ Sat 11/5/13 11.34am

This would be so much easier to explain with a real conveyancing purchase file in front of us to peruse, but this is a hopefully brief overview....

1. Usually a day or two before settlement, if a telegraphic transfer of funds was expected from a client, I would tell the accounts department it was expected, the amount, the matter, the file number, client details etc and accounts would tell the bank, who would phone when the funds showed up in the firm's trust account. Accounts would then tell me, and a requisition for settlement cheques could then be given to accounts. This was done by way of vouchers, initialled and checked by the clerk and a partner, to agree with the file reconciliation.

2. Before this, a purchaser's account, an on settlement account, and a trust reconciliation would be on the file, so that the details of incoming funds, balance purchase money, amount of loan, (if applicable and there was also a mortgage) would be shown on the rhs of a file statement, and a list of outgoing cheque amounts on lhs of the ledger eg. Bank cheque to vendor,(in amount requested by vendor's solicitor), Bank cheque to any outgoing mortgagee, cheque for unpaid rates, cheque for vendor's solicitor's costs and disbursements, and a transfer to cost account of our file for our client's costs and disbursements. Both sides of the ledger would be for the same balanced total amount ie total in = total out.

3.In the firm I worked for, the trust receipt for a telegraphic transfer, or a client's hand delivered or posted cheque, or bank cheque for balance purchase money would be written out by accounts following a note with the file, with all details for them to follow provided eg $180,000 Bk ch,(balance purchase money) received from AB&CD Jones, re Pur from Thomas 3/11/94, File no 94/2013, receipt no 11327. The trust receipt would be given/posted to the client.

4.After settlement, when all cheques had been drawn and dispersed, a copy of the trust ledger would be placed on the file, and a further copy sent to the client, with confirmation that settlement had been effected, and the title documents forwarded for registration. The copy of the trust ledger at this stage will show the total amount received and who from, and the total amounts paid out, and who to, and the total of the two amounts will be equal, with a zero balance in trust.

Face the Consequences

To deposit a cheque at a bank you need to fill out a deposit slip with the details of the person whose account you want it to go to. How did Ralph get these details, were they on the letter from SLAG that requested the $67k?

It would be good to see a copy of the deposit slip.

Another thing that is strange - I'm pretty sure if a cheque is deposited in my account the date it is deposited is shown on my statement - not the date it is cleared, the amount is just not included in 'available funds' until cleared.

Leigh

It still doesn't explain why so many people have gone to such extraordinary lengths to cover up what you quaintly and spin boof refer to as a stuff up.
There is a lot more to come out in the way of evidence than you and your ilk would care to see.
And that's a dead set cert.

Steve J

Thanks Glor, appreciate the time you have taken.
Without looking up the exact dates something like this happened.
Builders turn up at the AWU asking for payment for work on Gillards private residence.
The AWU asks S&G “whats going on”.
The AWU separately discovers the bodgy Victorian bank accounts.
Gillard takes (forced?) leave.
The AWU knows nothing about the WA Association.
When Gillard takes leave S&G discover an AWU WRA file in her office.
Sometime before her final interview S&G examine the trust account records for Kerr St and find a discrepancy between them and the information on the bank statements.
At the time of her interview Peter Gordon knows all about the source of the funds for Kerr St; he asks pointed questions about her understanding of Blewitts financial circumstances.
If she knew Blewitt was himself unlikely to have the necessary funds it has obvious implications in the light of their actual source.
The point of this is that the discovery (on what we know) that led to the questions on the funding of Kerr St and the involvement of the AWU WRA has to be the discrepancy in the Trust Ledger.
The AWU WRA file dealt with the incorporation (including the letter to the WA Commissioner).
The Trust Ledger as we know made no reference to the Association.
The AWU knew nothing about it, but by the time of the interview Gordon certainly did.
So if the bank statement revealed something like “ AWU WRA inc re Mr R Blewitt” how did the full information required not make it into the trust ledger?
We can assume that the same questions must have occurred to Gordon but the available transcript gives no guidance.
If S&G followed the procedures you outlined then Accounts would have prepared a receipt and made the appropriate entries after receiving a note from the person in charge of the conveyance.
How does this person know what details to advise accounts since it is accounts who has access to the information provided by the bank on the telegraphic transfer?
As has been noted accounts could be expected to check the bank statements to ensure compliance with the trust account requirements and the person advising the details would also be conversant with these requirements.
Why would such a person guess who the source of particular funds were?
We also have an original receipt which according to a statement by S&G was extant late last year but is now missing.
Perhaps the information it contained agreed with the bank statements, who knows?
In a firm with good systems in place it would have to be a rare occurrence for the ledger to incorrectly record the source of funds.
When those funds happen to be tainted it is indeed a happy occurrence for the crooks that such occurs by accident.
I’d be very interested in your estimate of the chances of such a concurrence

Glor

SteveJ... I believe it would only be the CBA Melbourne staff who saw the actual cheque signed by Blewitt on the AWU-WRA account for $67,722.30. S&G staff never saw the cheque if the funds were deposited direct from W.A.... but later, did the actual physical cheque end up in Melbourne branch, even after the funds showed up in S&G's trust account?

Trust receipt T2830 existed; the ledger shows rec'd from Mr Ralph Blewitt, and even if the bank statement showed cheque drawn on AWU-WRA account, Blewitt was the client, and the file was in his name.

For example, if I received a Building society, or Credit Union cheque, drawn by a purchaser from his own savings account with that institution, his name would not be revealed on that cheque, but the receipt would be issued in his name, as the payer of the funds, and as the client named on the file.

Then, when the accounts department banks such a cheque into the firm's trust account, I presume the bank's ledger reflects details as to amount, cheque drawer, institution, and client name, and the reconciliation turns up at the end of the month for checking. Maybe the double checking, safety measures employed by this firm at this time were somewhat casual... "near enough is good enough" (?)

Steve J

Hi Glor Thanks for the response.
As I understand it the actual cheque would have stayed in Perth.
The CBA there would have advised the branch in Melbourne when the funds had cleared.
They would also have advised whatever the drawer wished by way of describing the source etc of the funds.
So in theory the advice could have been simply "Mr R Blewitt" however we have been told that S&G discovered a discrepancy between the advice on the bank statement and what was recorded in the ledger and apparently this discrepancy led to inquiries about the AWU WRA.
In the case of the building society cheque I would say that the ledger should reflect the fact that such a cheque was received on behalf of "mr X".
Without knowing the systems in place at S&G it's impossible to say however perhaps their conveyancing practice was quite small and corners were cut.
Certainly Styant-Brown had a big involvement in class actions (OK Tedi) and although nominally in charge of conveyancing was according to Grech not the Partner with the carriage of this matter.
From what I can see the Branch where the trust account was held would have advised S&G that cleared funds were available and that the AWU WRA was the payer.
Those with more investigative clout than us may eventually find out how it failed to be recorded as such in the trust records.
Thanks again for your time.

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

"It makes complete sense that [Gillard had "carriage" of the conveyancing] given such factors as her attendance at the auction, preparation of the Power of Attorney and relationship with [email protected] J

1. It actually makes little sense given that a) Gillard was an industrial lawyer working in the industrial unit and b) The conveyancing file (p. 17) shows NSB as the responsible partner. The file also shows that "Nick" gave DOB "OK to proceed" with the mortgage-loan. I know Gillard asked questions about the mortgage and some fees, but these might be different things from whatever Stephen J means by "having carriage".

2. Preparing a Power of Attorney is a completely separate issue from doing conveyancing. But if Stephen J is right, I must remember, if I ever get a lawyer to draw up a power of attorney for me, to tell that lawyer that he is now required to have "carriage" of my conveyancing.


michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

Just curious pennyoz: are you one of those people who voted Labor last election because Gillard promised no carbon tax? I have never actually met anyone who admits it.

michael (Tango Delta Alpha)

What's your evidence? I have heard of a dinner or two in Melbourne that Gillard attended with Wilson and Blewitt - is that what you mean by "socially acquainted". It is automatic in your world John that you know the financial affairs of everyone with whom you have shared a dinner table in a restaurant? We know Blewitt was withdrawing sums of $10,000 from the bank, so we might suspect he splashed it round a bit and big-noted himself. When Gillard smeared Blewitt she quoted other people, she never said she knew it personally.

Edward James

Any expectation our failed Prime Minister will be penalized for anything she may be shown to have done while facilitating the purchase of a house. Would ignore history and the facts of life. Edward James

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