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November 2015

The idiot's guide to understanding the conflict of interest case against Gillard

The issue

Wilson had banked cheques made out to the AWU into a private, non AWU account.   He did it in secret.  And he got outsmarted and caught.  He was facing internal AWU charges and criminal charges.


Between December 1994 and July 1995.

How much money?

About $160K

What Gillard told her partners two months later

11 September, 1995

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Bernard Murphy states:

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The documents here show Slater and Gordon had been advising Wilson on the transitional matters associated with the handover to Smith starting at the latest from December, 1994.  They'd been through thick and thin since 1991 too including the establishment of the AWU Workplace Reform Association etc.

It appears that Wilson raised his hand and admitted his defalcations to his lawyers around 14 July 1995 after the AWU Members Welfare Association account was frozen.   He was cactus - and so are they.

From the evidence of Murphy and Gillard, he "gave instructions" about the allegations first to Gillard and then to Wilson in about July of 1995.

What does taking instruction mean?

In order to act for someone, a lawyer has to understand what the client is up against so far as allegations/evidence etc is concerned.

In this case the allegation was simple.   Bob Smith alleged Wilson had banked AWU funds into a non-AWU account.

At some point a conversation between Gillard and Wilson in similar terms to the following must have taken place.   Gillard did not create a written retainer, nor did Murphy on the matter.

Gillard, "What account is involved?" (holds breath and looks away)

Wilson,   "It's called the Australian Workers' Union Members Welfare Association".

Gillard    (sigh of relief)      "I'll have to have a look at the statements please plus any other banking information you have, copies of cheques, invoices etc."


Wilson should have had no difficulty with that.   He'd sent that information to Bob Smith - this from Smith's statement to the TURC.

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Gillard would have quickly discovered there were only 5 companies involved.

  • Thiess
  • John Holland
  • Chambers Consulting
  • Fluor Daniel
  • Phillips Fox Lawyers (acting for Woodside Petroleum)

Of those 5 companies, there were 10 transactions to ask questions about

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Thiess, a major employer and party to EBAs with Wilson's branches of the AWU was first on the list.   Thiess would have been well known to Gillard.   Her best friend Robyn McLeod was a director of the Board of a Thiess superannuation company along with her boyfriend, lover and client Wilson.   McLeod was working in the Melbourne Water element of the AWU representing the all Thiess workforce.

Wilson was now in the bare-all stage.   He had no choice - Bob Smith had dacked him by exposing the details of the dodgy bank account.

Wilson's instructions to his lawyers are currently secret, however even cursory analysis of the barest of details for the Thiess payment of $20,160 would have alerted Gillard to this:

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There were only two Thiess transactions to "take instructions" about.

Gillard, "May I look at the bank statement please".

Wilson, "Sure, here's the first page, you'll note two entries for cheques in October - each for $8750, summing to $17500.   Sound familiar, 50% down and 50% on completion?  They went to Town Mode Fashion also the owners of the Kew building company which may be familiar to you Julia..  Any questions?"

Gillard, "None at all."

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Wilson, "Here's the first Thiess pay-in, $31,00 on 22 December 1994"

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Gilard, "Right, and those $213 regular payments in, what are they?"

Wilson, "Payroll deductions for a re-election fund.   You will see that this is an unincorporated association.   We had found that using an unincorporated association continues to stand the test of .........oh never mind.  They are clearly private monies.   Here's the next page."

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Gillard, "$6,000 went out on 22 Feb, what was that about?"

Wilson, "A cash cheque.   Most of them are, unless I want someone in the shit".

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Gillard, "Dodgy handwriting - big night?" (checks diary)

Bruce hands the next page.

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Gillard, "Well a few highlights there, 6 April $6500, what's that about?"

Wilson, "That was smoking the peace pipe with Bob Kernohan - keep your friends close and your enemies closer.   There's something on everyone, remember it's in our DNA.    I don't think Bob will be making too much noise once he realises where his expense reimbursement came from."

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Gillard, "Good, he'll crumble in two minutes, Bill will offer him a seat in the upper house and he'll be pissing on and out of the way.   And $15 grand on 27 April, just a few weeks ago, how about that - don't tell me it's cash too!"

Wilson, 'No, well sort of cash but cash for a specific purpose.   We'd,  sorry, I'd shut down the Workplace Reform Association earlier in April.   You'll remember Kon Spyridis I'm sure.  Well he needed $10 grand, and I needed $5 grand to hand to Wayne Hem to deposit into ......... an account of someone whose identity is legally privileged and confidential."

Gillard, "Thank God for British justice."

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Gillard, "Is there much more?'

Wilson, "On the pay in side there's $19,000 per quarter from Woodside and you can see the deposit slips for all the companies here".

(points to banking information maintained by the archivist Wayne Hem) 

Gillard, "Holy Shit Bruce.   I perceive I may have a conflict of interest here.   I will have to do the right thing consistent with my duty of utmost good faith and timely disclosure to my partners, especially having regard to the mechanism for you converting these cheques made out to the Australian Workers Union into funds privately controlled by you - that being the use of an entity capable of opening and operating a bank account with the name "Australian Workers Union" in the title.   In regard to my duty of timely disclosure to my partners - well obviously I'll need some time to think about that and see what's going to come out anyway.  Further, I am a fiduciary to the Australian Workers Union and you have disclosed to me what on the face of it appears to be fraud on the AWU.   I will have to think up a form of words to describe shall I put it Bruce...

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Gillard, "Now Bruce, is there any link between this AWU Members Welfare Association and any other unauthorised account bearing the name AWU?"

Wilson, "Do you mean unauthorised as in no Resolution of the Executive or unauthorised as in behind Bill Ludwig's back?"

Gillard, "Don't be smart Bruce, this is serious."

Wilson, "Do you think I've been planning to go down alone?   There was this thing called AWU Workplace Reform Association that you have forgotten about, I was given some urgent advice about that in April when things started heating up as you might recall.   It's shut down so it's obliterated.   But you might not like the next page of the bank statement".

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Gillard, "That doesn't look too bad, what's the 13 July pay in for $54,600 about?"

Wilson, "Oh that.   Money burns a hole in my pocket.   After I shut down that AWU Workplace Reform Association account...........there was this cheque getting lazy, so I put it to work."

Gillard, "What was the cheque?"

Wilson, "A bit unmistakable really.  You know at this late stage, I just thought it might be a bit of insurance if my lawyers knew they had skin in the game too.   So I banked it.  Evidence that we are all in this together - just so I know we're all really trying!   It's made out to the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association Incorporated in answer to an invoice from the said entity.  Remember the one I took advice about, the one to receive funds from the Dawesville project?   But don't worry too much, you're in good company, just ask Bill.'

Gillard, "For f**k's sakes Bruce.   Any more good news?'

Wilson, "Yes.   I am well and truly sprung now, read this letter I just received'.

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Gillard, "What's this about?"

Wilson, "Well, I knew Bob Smith was on my tail.  I had to clear the AWU Members Welfare Association account out in a hurry - I got close, but no cigar.   That prick Bob Smith outsmarted me, he got to the bank and had them freeze the account on the day I wrote this cheque to empty it.   The bank bounced it because of Smith and your mates at Maurice Blackburn."

Gillard, "John Cain.   This much talent (holds up little finger).  I'll bet poxy Roxy...oh nothing"

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Gillard, "Anyone else know about this?"

Wilson, "Yeah, Wayne Hem.  I got him to do all the banking, including the odd $5 grand to a damsel in  distress.   You know he's got a photographic memory - remembers details like account numbers and stuff.   I could have done it myself, but then.......Call it insurance."

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Gillard, "I am going to have to get Bernard to take instructions in this now Bruce.   Is there anything I should know about this Construction Industry Fund as I properly and diligently take instructions from you in this matter - having due regard to my duty to my partners, the law and my position as a fiduciary to the AWU?"

Wilson, "Well there is a bit of an unfortunate paper trail, yeah.   That account, the National Construction Fund, the one I tried to empty the grand into.   Well it was set up in February this year. It's one signature to operate it.  Maria at the CBA....well that's another story.  Now, when you said to.......sorry, when it became a pressing imperative to cease the operations of the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association I had to find a home for the $40 grand in it.   So I got Ralph to dump it into the National Construction Fund.  Here's the statement - do you reckon anyone will notice the link to your..sorry our Workplace Reform Association?"

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Gillard, "Depends.   Now giving you unconflicted advice in my role as a fiduciary to the AWU I have to hope they do.   Now in relation to my unconflicted duty to you as my client and having regard to the intermingling of our financial resources I hope that imbecile, stooge, user of ASIAN prostitutes (PAUSE FOR EFFECT) and sophisticated property investor Ralph Blewitt learnt something about writing out C-A-S-H cheques from the Kerr Street experience.   I hope that little matter - the one I've been living in while my renovations were being done - the one I have no recollection about.   Bruce, what's that look on your face?.......Bruce........BRUCE..........BRUCE!!!!!!"

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Wilson, "Well it's hard to get good help".

Gillard, "Bruce I will have to partially cease acting for you because of my undiscovered conflict of shall I later put it???

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After a time, well a couple of times at the Windsor.

Gillard, "You know Bruce, one of us better become PM so we can tell the Attorney General to "find something for Bernard".   Oh God, imagine Nicola as AG!   Or shit-in-his-pants-Shorten in parliament.   One thing's for sure, Ian "If-Cambridge-Isn't-Stopped-We're-History" Cambridge has got that freak Robert McClelland acting for him.  Imagine him as AG, I'd fix him up".

Wilson, "I know, but nothing will ever get in the way of our love for each other darling.   For better or worse hey."

Gillard, "Worse?   How could it be worse.   There's only one hope now Bruce - today's High Court Judge is tomorrow's Royal Commissioner.   What have we got on............"



PS - I am so over filling my waking hours with seemingly endless hours of comparing documents, digging, thinking, analysing, writing and otherwise being infected by this sordid business.   Complexity is their friend.   So is time "this all happened so long ago" etc.    The manual must read

  • make it complex
  • buy time then buy more time - get past deadlines like the end of a Royal Commission
  • announce your own enquiry on your own terms
  • always act through a lawyer to get privileged confidential status on document
  • always act through a fall-guy - be disciplined about it
  • watch your handwriting, don't write on documents if you don't have to
  • have something on everyone - but know the reverse applies
  • have reliable access to the favour bank - mates who can offer jobs
  • have reliable access to the Kenny Splash-Down tanker with 2 stroke pump, large bore hose and plenty of juice - that means mates in the media to run disparaging stories      
  • show the enemy the instruments of torture early then bucket and discredit without mercy


So why do it?   Bill Ludwig had something on Gillard and he installed her as Prime Minister.   That's where this all leads.

In the meantime, until we get there I have to admit to wishing I didn't understand it at all.


Chairman Quartermaster Mal has been doing a stocktake on Islamic State's mobile phone and Twitter accounts

I am struggling to understand why an Australian Prime Minister would make these comments.

Coming from the head of government in a public, considered statement his comments are at best in the category of "so what?".  Turnbull's fuzzy thinking leads to societal complacency and acceptance of Islamic terror as something we just have to get used to.   Heaven forbid we offend the likes of Waleed et al by saying Islamic terror has something to do with Islam.

I hope we are not one day saying "ISIL only had one dirty nuclear bomb".   Malcolm the ratio of mobile phones to AK47s or Twitter accounts to Mujahideen is not of much use or frankly interest.   This is a movement we are pitted against.   A philosophy, a way of life.   The Palestinian strain of the movement is having a devastating effect against Israelis - armed only with kitchen knives.

You make me very angry Malcolm when you as leader pretend the threat should be calculated or expressed as the sum of the Twitter, phone or other smarty pants metrics.   You sound like precisely what you are in this instance, a bloke looking for something to say about the issue de jour.

If you must blunder into the issue, call it for what it is - a mass movement of people who will use whatever they can - petrol, knives, fertiliser, guns, box cutters, commercial airplanes - whatever they can get their hands on to further their Islamic cause.

Fundamental to that cause is killing infidels.  Condemn it or shut up.

Darren Peters, SOTG V remembers his mate Luke Worsley, killed in action 23 November 2007 fighting for Australia

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(Marjorie and John Worsley with a photo of their son the late Luke Worsley, killed in action 23 November 2007 in Australia's war against Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan.)

Darren Peters, Special Operations Task Group V remembers Luke - let's all think about what it means to be Australian

The 23rd of November has just passed. For some it’s just another day. Unfortunately for others it is not. I was there on the ground that day when one of our finest, Luke Worsley from 4 RAR Commando, was knocked. We were out in the middle of the Afghanistan Dasht and a long way from Australia. This story from within the SF community needs to be told to the Australian public but most of all the parents, wives, sons daughters and family.

What the boys from Bravo Company 4 RAR (now 2 Commando Regiment), Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) rotation V (Roman numeral for 5), did for one of their own over an 18 hour plus period is something I will never forget. His mates did everything they could for him and then some.
We harboured up the vehicles, created the Vehicle Drop off Point (VDO) and the decision was made to move in on foot. Harbouring the vehicles was no easy feat as there were Land Rover SRVs, 4 and 6 wheel All-terrain Vehicles, Bushmasters and the Mother Ship. The Mother Ship was an up armoured 4 x 4 Mercedes Unimog that looks like something out of Mad Max. It had a pintle mounted 50cal HMG mounted on top and a 7.62 Mag58 LMG mounted for the passenger.

The boys took off around dusk and started the stomp of about 3km (3.5hrs) over the mountainous terrain to the objective. Overwatch was established over the village, and the boys went in. All seemed to be going well until the call of TIC (Troops in Contact) came over the radio. Echoes of rifle and intense machine gun fire could be heard across the valley.

Then we heard the words that no one wants to hear. Just after midnight on the 22nd and going in to the early morning of 23rd November, I can remember hearing over the radio that we had a man down. All of us who were listening to the contact over the radio couldn’t believe it, we were waiting to hear who it was. The call sign of the soldier was sent over the radio and eventually we worked out it was Luke .

We were in our harbour securing the vehicles, a few of us started to prepare to roll in and give them a hand. We could still hear the heavy fighting going on. Thankfully the boss made the call not to send us forward as we found out later on that the vehicle route in to the village had been mined with IEDs.
The boys had been on target for about 8 plus hours and dawn was not that far away. So the call was made to move out and that they would have to stretcher carry Luke back to the VDO some 3km away.
This paragraph I’m trying to give you some idea of the mind set and some of the setbacks the boys faced and overcame.

We also had Close Air Support, more commonly known as CAS. The boom and the shock wave from the explosion was massive. It broke the silence and even lit up our valley. When the CAS was called in we were in the VDO 3km away and we thought the boom and the shock wave from the explosion was massive. The main group were still in the vicinity of the village, they were only 700m to 900m away when the missile hit the target.

Choppers were called in to come and pick up Luke. The Chinook, along with Gunship support, had to come from TK Airfield and were provided by the Dutch. They were requested to pick Luke from the village and take them back to TK Airfield for processing. As it turned out, we were told the chopper was on its way from TK. Then the call came over the radio informing us it was being diverted to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Anaconda for another task. We were then told it was not coming directly to us from FOB Anaconda but now diverted to Kandahar. Once again we were then informed that the chopper did not have enough fuel to come to us from Kandahar, so it returned to TK airfield then finally on to our location.

Back to the story: I can remember standing there listening to the Company who were coming back, calling in and updating their position. Once we knew they were about 20 to 30 minutes out from the VDO, I told every spare body to go around to the vehicles, dig out the gas bottles and stove and boil some water. This was so they would have hot water for a brew when they returned.

Then I saw the first of two things that day that I wish every Australian could have seen.
I can remember looking up and seeing the first member of the Company coming over the hill, then another and another. Then the rest of the boys who were carrying Luke on the stretcher.
Every man wanted to carry Luke. They had been at it for over 12 hours by now, they were all tired and they were hurt, but in true Grunt fashion they were not bloody beaten and at no time would they give up. At that very moment I was thinking, how proud I was to be there. I just witnessed something un-bloody believable.

Before Luke was to be taken off the battlefield by chopper, he was placed in one of the Bushmasters. Everyone from the Company had the opportunity to go in, pay their respects and say goodbye, which they all did. Me personally, I held his hand and said a prayer Psalm 23:4 (Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me). I also told him that one day we will all be reunited in Valhalla and that he would not be forgotten.

In addition to this there was a young Mortarman. He was one of the boys that had just been out all night. He helped carry and was good friends with Luke. Unfortunately he could not bring himself to go in to the Bushmaster and say good bye. I tried to convince him at the time that it was the right thing to do; however, he still could not bring himself to do it. I said to him that I completely understand. 30 minutes later at around 9 or 10ish we received the call that the evac chopper was inbound.
Finally, we could hear the sound of the Chinook off in the distance. At this point I picked myself up and went over to where the Mortars were. As I approached him I said, mate this is the last chance you will get to say good bye. He was also religious man so I told him, this is the last chance to go in and say a prayer for him. To his credit we both walked to the Bushmaster together and I told him I would be right outside. He went in and farewelled his mate. Once we were back in Camp Russell, he came up to me and thanked me for what I had done.

So we loaded Luke on to the chinook and made sure everything was good to go. This is where I saw the second thing that the Australian public should know about.
I was facing the chinook with the company spread out behind me in the defensive position. The position was spread out over approximately 500m on a slight hill that was running up from where we were. The CSM pointed behind me and said “hey DAZZ have a look at that.” I turned around and this is what I saw.

I looked up and I could see the whole company, all standing to attention. They were next to their cars, some were standing by themselves, some were standing on Bushmasters, this was truly an amazing site. These boys were paying their respect to a mate that they would never see again but would live on in their memories.

On our return to Camp Russell we had a service and we were allowed a few beers. We were all in the building which is normally used as a recreation room and one of the blokes, whose name I cannot recall, played the Dire Straits song Brothers In Arms. Every one stopped what they were doing and there was complete silence. Everyone banded together and paid their respect to Luke in their own way.

Once the Dire Straits song was finished a young man grabbed his guitar and went up the front of the recreation room. He was a strapping young lad who was already a legend within Bravo Company and 4RAR (2 Commando Regiment).

Now you have to remember that this is in November of 2007.

This man and his guitar started to play a song, a song that, funnily enough, still haunts me today. The song was “I hope you had the time of your life”, by Green Day. It was a pretty good rendition of the song that would give any musician a run for their money.

A few months after the events of the 22nd – 23rd this man with his guitar was awarded the Medal For Gallantry for his actions on that fateful night. A few years after that in 2013 this man went on to become a legend. He went on to become forever immortal.

The man with the guitar was Cameron Baird VC MG and he is the 100th recipient of the Victoria Cross. A man truly worthy of this honour.

The same spirit that the ANZACs took with them to the shores of Gallipoli is still alive and well today. Up until now this story of the boys was just a personal memory that now will be hopefully told to the Australian public, but most of all the parents of these brave young lads.

Anyone who reads this can share it as much as possible. Cheers 
Darren Peters SOTG V

Thanks to Ralph Blewitt, a proud member of the Royal Australian Regiment brotherhood for passing Darren's note on to us.

The return of Thiess's $20K AWU WRA payment - what it means for Thiess and its executives.

This post doubles up a little on the earlier post pointing to the AWU WRA Inc payment making its way into the AWU Members Welfare Association.  I wanted to have a self-contained post here that refers specifically to Thesis's involvement.  I'll publish something similar for Slater and Gordon and for Gillard/Murphy shortly.

23 December 1994 - $31,540 in 4 separate payments from Thiess banked into the AWU Members Welfare Association.

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17 February 1995 - rule change within AWU sets up National Construction Branch, Wilson loses control of AWU bank accounts, comes under audit and external scrutiny.   Bob Smith, incoming Victoria Branch Secretary in particular is known to be searching for evidence of Wilson's scams.

28 February 1995 - AWU WRA Inc issues this invoice to Thiess

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11 April 1995 - Thiess issues this cheque with advice slip to AWU WRA Inc

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21 April 1995 - Wilson closes the AWU Workplace Reform Association bank accounts, both its cash management and cheque accounts.   The $20,160 cheque from Thiess was not banked into either of the AWU WRA Inc accounts.   Apparently no matter what else was discovered, the first priority was to get rid of the AWU WRA Inc.

13 June 1995 - Wayne Hem (on Wilson's instructions) banks the $20,160 Thiess AWU WRA Inc payment into the AWU Members Welfare Association Account.   The cheque is met on presentation and the funds form part of the AWU Members Welfare Association balance.

30 June 1995 - AWU WRA Inc issues a further invoice for $20,160 to Thiess, with notation to make cheque payable to the AWU National Construction Branch (a genuine branch of the AWU, i.e. a part of the legitimate AWU entity) but to be sent to the secret Wilson/Blewitt post office box in Perth.   The National Construction Branch's head office is in Melbourne.   Again, Thiess processes it.

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1 August 1995 - Thiess issues a cheque for $20,160 payable to AWU National Construction Branch.

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Who knows what went on behind the scenes over the next several weeks as Wilson and his lawyers hammered out a deal with Bob Smith.    This letter from Bob Smith's lawyers to the CBA suggests to me that there'd been some discussion between Thiess and Wilson - how else to explain the "Thiess get everything left over" calculation.

On 17 August 1995 Maurice Blackburn's John Cain wrote to the CBA.

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And sure enough, on 17 August 1995, bank cheques were drawn for Thiess:

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Here is the full group of cheque details - note two for Thiess, one we now know was the return of $20,160 paid to the AWU WRA Inc by Thiess, the other relates to the peculiar formula described on the Maurice Blackburn letter, i.e. what's leftover goes to Thiess.

We know that the companies to whom those cheques were made out received a letter similar to  this one sent to John Holland with their cheques.

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On 15 September 1995 Ian Cambridge had well and truly discovered the Wilson/Smith/Maurice Blackburn/Slater and Gordon scheme to return the money to the companies without the approval of the AWU.  Here's his letter to Thiess.

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(Ian was out on one figure, the $9405.56 represents the leftover in the AWU Members Welfare Assn that went to Thiess, the eventual bank cheque also included the amount left over in the Election Fund, bringing the total of the bank cheque to $13,934,32.   But the old mates at Thiess could be relied on to say nothing.)

If Thiess was the honest victim of Wilson's frauds as the TURC suggests, what would you expect Thiess to do?   I'd expect a prompt response = "an amount of $20,160 was paid to the AWU WRA Inc in April and the same amount again on 1 August to the AWU National Construction Branch. Our records show the second cheque for $20,160 to the NCB hasn't been presented as yet.   We don't recognise any payments to the AWU in our systems for $9,405."

That's if Thiess was not part of the scam.   

Thiess did not respond to Ian's letter for one year.

But media interest was becoming intense.   Initially Thiess refused to answer questions about the matter in the press - but its executives were talking within the industry, this was the big IR issue of the time.  

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Paul Darrouzet was the HR executive responsible for the Melbourne Water deal with Wilson.  He tried to pass off the returned payment as being for the "only extraordinary payment" Thiess made to the AWU during that time, $25K for an asbestos and road study referred to in this September 1995 story - however read the last two paragraphs closely and you'll see that Darrouzet's story was hastily revised.

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Anyone associated with the AWU Workplace Reform Association seems to acquire the curse of the pharaohs.   It's been covered up so deeply, one has to wonder why?  The TURC is incurious, we won't be.

Thiess didn't tell Ian Cambridge about the AWU WRA Inc until late August 1996.   During that time Thiess honoured its cheque for $20,160 that Wilson eventually banked 5 months after it was issued and 4 months after he'd left the AWU.

Still not a peep from Thiess even when that happened.  Nor did they speak up when the police started asking questions, likewise as the media storm was building.  

So when Thiess eventually explained  the returned payments formally to the AWU, here's what it said.

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And this - imagine how much drama Thiess would have saved everyone if it had sent this letter 12 months earlier.

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We've reported on the time it took for Thiess to respond to Ian Cambridge before - but we did not know then that the return of money was directly linked to the AWU Workplace Reform Association.   Why would Thiess not simply answer questions about what it had paid out honestly and in a timely fashion?   The only explanation is that Thiess,-  like Wilson, Ludwig and Gillard - had something to hide.

Thesis's failure to respond to Ian Cambridge s inexplicable if Thiess had truly been ripped off in the AWU WRA Inc scandal.   The company's failure to brief the AWU - even when its AWU WRA Inc payment was returned to it as being "suspect" - beggars belief.

The scenario that makes sense is the one constantly put by Bruce Wilson, each of Thiess, Bill Ludwig and Wilson's advisors knew all about what he was up to in the AWU Workplace Reform Association.


Slater and Gordon advised Wilson on a deal to return $20,160 in tainted Workplace Reform Association money to Thiess

The background and timing are important here - stay with it, it's new and important information that I've not seen in this context before.

On 1 December 1994 the AWU forwarded proposed rule changes which had the effect of establishing a National Construction Branch to the Australian Industrial Registry for ratification.

On 15 December 1994 a member of the union lodged an objection to the rule changes, i.e. an objection to establishing that branch.  The Industrial Registrar invited the AWU to respond to the objection.

On 23 January 1995 Slater and Gordon's Bernard Murphy responded by letter to the Industrial Registry on behalf of the AWU and in particular Wilson.  Here's part of the Industrial Registrar's letter confirming Murphy's role  - letter in full here.

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On 6 February 1995 Wilson and Blewitt opened a bank account for a sham unincorporated entity they called the National Construction Fund.   'MARIA" of the James Street, Northbridge branch of the CBA helped get them up and running.   Someone at the CBA with initials MW ticked most of the boxes to formally create the account, presumably Maria W.  Maria noted that Wilson and Blewitt were well known customers of the branch.  

Here's the Application:

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Maria must have been a lovely, trusting soul.   No resolutions, minutes of meetings or anything at all in writing - not so much as a letter signed by the chief officer Ralph Blewitt to introduce the entity to the bank.   But, as Maria noted, Ralph and Bruce were "well known customers in this office".   Well known for banking and withdrawing hundreds of thousands in cash over the past couple of years through the AWU WRA Inc.

Ralph and Bruce's office titles in this new entity were Branch Secretary WA and Branch Secretary Vic respectively - but that didn't raise any difficulties for them with the CBA.

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Nor did the entity's address, the Fitzroy Business Centre with a PO Box in Melbourne.   Nor its daytime phone number in Perth. 

On 6 February 1995 the account commenced operating with a $20 deposit.

On 8 February, 1995 Wilson wrote to Ian Cambridge about the upcoming expected establishment of the NCB and the transitional financial, banking and other arrangements that he wanted be put in place - his letter is here.   Cambridge appeared to agree with the logic in Wilson's letter, going in to bat for the transitional arrangements Wilson (or more likely his legal advisors) had set out.

On 15 February 1995 Ian Cambridge issued a Circular to the AWU Executive members copying the proposed arrangements Wilson had put forward (in a nicely legalese form) in his letter of 8 February - here is a copy of the Circular and Ballot paper to endorse the proposed arrangements.

On 17 February 1995 the AWU Rule Changes were ratified by the Australian Industrial Registrar, who wrote that day including reference to Bernard Murphy's role in finalising those rules (referred to above) for ease of reference the letter and approval for the new branch are here.

On 17 February 1995, the day the NCB structure was officially approved, Ian Cambridge states that Wilson phoned him:

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From that point on Bob Smith (the former FIME Victoria branch secretary - post creation of the new National Construction Branch Smith was to replace Wilson as Victoria Branch Secretary) and Wilson were in open and aggressive warfare.   They each had their own lawyers and the game was on.

Read Wilson's account, or Bob Smith's account and note their self interest in the way they tell the story.   I find Ian Cambridge's account, based on his notes at the time and a voluminous range of contemporary documents to be the most reliable and credible record of events - you can find his statement here and the time period we're talking about starts from Page 8 paragraph 48.

As the Victoria and WA Branches were heading towards being wound up, Wilson and Blewitt were clearly acting in accord with legal advice - each had the same lawyer, Slater and Gordon in Melbourne.

On 20 February each sent a similar letter to Ian Cambridge about transitional financial arrangements - Wilson here and Blewitt here.

On 21 February 1995, rather than accepting Wilson/Slater and Gordon's proposed transitional arrangements, the joint National Secretary of the AWU (originally from the FIME side and close to Bob Smith) Steve Harrison wrote to Blewitt, Wilson and others with a letter that must have sent a shiver down Wilson's spine.   It called for an audit of all accounts, financial statements etc - no summary does it justice, here's what Wilson read:

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Bob Smith would not agree to making payroll contributions for existing staff until all of the matters set out in Harrison's letter had been complied with.

Wilson's next step was to go to the lawyers.   The next day he sent this letter, clearly drafted by someone other than himself (read the last paragraph), he didn't bother returning to the office to have it put on letterhead, it just went as it was.

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I don't think there's any controversy in saying that Slater and Gordon were very close to Wilson during this time as events requiring a good deal of legal advice progressed.

Bob Smith was making life very difficult for Wilson in Victoria.   He continued with his position that he would not approve of the release of money for payroll purposes until Wilson had completely complied with the letter from Harrison and produced all the financial records Harrison had nominated.   Wilson was apoplectic.

A spooked Wilson closes the AWU WRA Incorporated bank accounts

Something material happened in April, 1995.

Wilson was on notice that Smith/Harrison and the FIME push were on his tail, turning over the rocks and looking into the affairs of Wilson's branches with a fine tooth comb.   Slater and Gordon continued as the legal advisors for Blewitt (WA Secretary) and Wilson (Victoria Secretary) during that time.

On 11 April 1995 Thiess processed payment for the February 1995 Melbourne Water AWU WRA Inc invoice - here's the invoice and the payment slip:

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But Wilson had other things on his mind - more important and worrying things than how he would deal with a cheque for $20K made out to his Gillard created slush fund.

I think it's reasonable to draw an inference that he and perhaps others though it prudent for the AWU WRA Incorporated bank accounts to disappear.  He didn't wait for the Thiess cheque to arrive.  

On 12 April 1995 he transferred the bulk of the AWU WRA Inc money to the Construction Industry Fund.

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By 21 April 1995 Wilson/Blewitt would certainly have received the Thiess cheque for $20,160 shown above.    But Wilson did nothing with it.   He was obviously worried.  

On 21 April 1995 the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association Incorporated bank accounts were closed.   It had disappeared.




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Keep in mind Wilson now had a cheque from Thiess for $20,160 in his possession made out to the compromising AWU Workplace Reform Association.

On 27 April, 1995 without the AWU WRA Inc cash Wilson wrote out this cheque for $15,000 on the AWU Members Welfare Association account for cash - the rear of the cheque show $10K went to Kon Spyridis and $5K to cash.   You might recall that Wilson subsequently claimed that Spyridis was doing work on the AWU's Melbourne premises.

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Wilson was obviously under enormous pressure.   Ian Cambridge's statement sets out the details of each day's dramas.   Wilson had the cheque from Thiess for $20,160.00 made out to the AWU WRA Inc - but what to do with it?   He'd shut that account down.   He also had Bob Smith sniffing around looking for dirt.

On 13 June 1995 Wilson instructed Wayne Hem to do the banking - apparently cheques had been piling up a bit.    A reasonable inference is that Wilson did not know what to do with the money, he had become quite cagey.  

For whatever reason, there was an urgent need to shut down the AWU WRA Inc - where might that advice have come from?  The Thiess cheque for $20,160 made out to the  AWU WRA Incorporated was in the pile of cheques that Wilson had Hem deposit  into the AWU Members Welfare Association account on that day.

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The AWU WRA Incorporated was now implicated in the AWU Members Welfare Association account. But it wasn't the only involvement of the WA slush fund with what would become the Melbourne investigations.

On 19 June 1995 Hem banked $39,000 from Phillips Fox (the quarterly payment for Woodside) in to the account.


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Wilson continued operating the account.

On 30 June 1995 the Members Welfare Association statement FY year end was issued:

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A balance of $106,000.   It's a significant sum to remember as you read about Bob Smith's allegations against Wilson at a Finance Committee meeting then some weeks ahead.

But on 30 June 1995 Wilson knew no shame - the next invoice from the AWU WRA Inc went out to Thiess for Melbourne Water (more on that soon too) - with instructions to pay the AWU National Construction Branch at his secret post office box in Perth.   


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On 12 July 1995 Wilson had Hem do what turned out to be the last cheque run - at least for the AWU Members Welfare Association account.   Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 12.24.10 am

12 July 1995 and $54,000 goes in to the account.   A sum total of $160K - keep in mind we know that there was a further $20,160 due from Thiess for the 30 June AWU WRA Inc (but payable to the AWU National Construction Branch - that change in invoicing style took place during the time that Wilson was taking Slater and Gordon's legal advice about the problems with the Melbourne Accounts).

On 14 July 1995 Wilson attempted to move all of the AWU Members Welfare Association money to his secret National Construction Fund - the total balance of $160K included $20,160 paid by Thiess to the AWU Workplace Reform Association Inc.   Here's the 14 July cheque with the bank's internal dishonour paperwork - more on that shortly.

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Here's Wayne Hem's pay-in deposit slip to the Construction Industry Fund - notice that Wilson always handed the job of making the deposits to someone else? Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 12.50.23 am Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 12.49.52 am


This from Cambridge's statement:

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Little did Wilson know that Bob Smith was all over him like a rash.   As you'll see, Smith had very good intelligence about what was happening at the CBA.   On the day the $160K cheque was written and deposited, Smith's lawyers Maurice Blackburn wrote to the CBA freezing all the Victorian accounts.

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On 18 July 1995 the CBA wrote to Wilson to inform him about the stopped cheque.


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From that point his goose was cooked.   It was then just a question of time.

On 2 August 1995 the AWU Finance Committee met.   Here's an extract from Ian Cambridge's statement about that meeting.

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I'll have more analysis on what this all means soon, with reference to Gillard and Murphy's statements about their involvement in Wilson's affairs.

But astute observers will realise there's one cheque outstanding.   Wilson did not declare the $20,160 cheque he then held from Thiess in answer to his 30 June 1995 invoice from the AWU WRA Inc - payable to the National Construction Branch.

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By 18 August 1995 Wilson was gone, out of the AWU for good

Wilson had no shame, no shame at all.

ON 29 December 1995, here's where the Thiess cheque ended up.   Good to have friends at the CBA.

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Here's a consolidated view of the Construction Industry Fund.

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When Wilson left with his golden handshake redundancy from the AWU, he also took with him $43,967 - plus a cheque for $20,160 from Thiess paid in answer to an AWU WRA Inc invoice but made out to the AWU National Construction Branch.

So what does it all mean?   More on that soon.

StephenJ on GILLARD's renovations - with a word or two from Bob Kernohan, Kon Spyridis and Bob Smith

Kernohans statement


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Con being a good Greek Builder would always be paid by cheque.

Wilson was running the Reno’s. 

Still the same approach as for the  bathroom etc.

Con regarded Wilson as responsible for payment.

Muscat says that Con had done work previously on the Union offices and for Gillard.

He would only have said this if Con had said it. The bits he hasn’t been paid for are in addition to the previous work.


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Smith has said to Kernohan he has paid them $17,000 ie the amount they were owed so they would go away. Smith confirms it was $17,000 but says he didn’t pay them, see below in his statement.

So Gillard has paid the AWU, or someone has fixed it for her.

Why did you mention $3,500 a being repaid to the AWU?

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Shorten is involved in all of it. 

Spyridis statement

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The idea that Wilson would pay for the fitout of the Carlton Office from the Welfare a/c is laughable. Kon the con got the whole $15,000. and it more than likely it was related to Abbotsford and Kerr St.

So $7,000 is outstanding and its all owed by the AWU for a fitout to its Carlton premises. According to Smith below it was all claimed for Kerr St and Abbotsford.and it was $17,000.

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Confirms that it was organised by Wilson through Telicostoglu.

He has to keep the extent of work to a minimum so that he only has to seek a small amount from Gillard $3500. This could explain why in his evidence he was so particular about what he had done ie he didn’t replace the windows as Gillard claimed in the interview.


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He would have been looking for payment for everyting he was owed as Wilson had authorised it all.

He went to S&G because he had worked on her property. By the way how did he know anything about her? ie where she worked for instance.

why would he go looking for Gillard at the AWU offices?

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Mascot is Muscat.

Kon isn’t paid on the day but sometime later. He isn’t paid what Smith says ie $17,000. He is paid $7000 by the AWU and separately by Gillard.

If he was paid $7,000 by the AWU on the day and it relates to Abbotsford, Gillard has somehow forgotten to mention in her Interview that in addition to the $3,500 she has arranged to pay Kon she has also squared the books with the AWU.

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Who to believe Kon or Muscats story to Bob.

Kon is lying his fat Greek arse off.

Bob may have got the $17,000 wrong but its obvious to me that whatever Kon was owed he was owed it for work on Abbotsford ( maybe something for Kerr St but doubtful given the comments relayed by Muscat although contra Smith below).. 

That’s why he went first to Wilson , then to Gillard , then back to the main union office. The Union had authorised it through Wilson.

As he said to Muscat he had previously done work on the Carlton offices and Abbotsford and apparently been paid (obviously by Wilson).

I think the likely scenario is.

1.He did some work on the Union Offices and was paid from legit accounts.

2.The payments from the Welfare a/c relate partly to Kerr St and Abbotsford. Hems saw him at Kerr St.

3.The AWU paid him $17,000 and Gillard squared it with the Union somehow.

4.Shorten and Smith know exactly what happened and so apparently would Muscat.

5.Gillard fails to mention the above for some inexplicable reason at the interview.

6.Gordon knows at the interview through what Wilson has told Murphy that some part of the payments from the welfare a/c have gone to Abbotford.

Smiths statement

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He needs no one else to be present so he can make up what was said.

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Confirms work on Kerr St and Abbotford.

I believe Bob about him being told by Smith that the AWU had paid them. 

$17,000 or $7,000 ??. Smith and Kernohan both say $17,000.

Her interview was on September 11. Kon must have made his complaint well before this and before August 14. The timeline in Smith account isn’t right.

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Implication is that she was still trying to satisfy S&G well after the time of the interview. But according to Gordon didn’t she offer her resignation straight away??

Smith is part of the cover up as well.


The Lord's Prayer. Church of England “shocked and bewildered” by ban.

Church of England website here.

Church of England “shocked and bewildered” by cinema ban on Lord’s Prayer

Posted on 22nd November, 2015

The Church of England has said it is “dumbfounded and bewildered” by the refusal of the country’s leading cinemas to show a 60 second advert promoting prayer, adding that the “plain silly” decision could have a “chilling effect” on free speech.

The Church’s response follows its launch of a new website to promote the renewal of prayer in a digital age. The website creates a place for prayer with advice on what prayer is and how to pray.  The site also provides a “live prayer” feed of prayers being prayed across the globe via Twitter, Instagram and Vine with the hashtag #justpray. On taking office in March 2013 the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby announced three priority areas for his ministry – the renewal of prayer was his first: “If we want to see things changed, it starts with prayer. It starts with a new spirit of prayer, using all the traditions, ancient and modern. When it comes, it will be linked to what has gone before, but it will look different – because it is a new renewal for new times.”

The Church of England has produced an advert promoting the new website to be shown in cinemas from December 18 2015 as part of the ad reel before Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The 60 second advert features Christians from all walks of life praying one line of the Lord’s prayer and includes weight lifters, a police officer, a commuter, refugees in a support centre, school children, a mourner at a graveside, a festival goer and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Church has announced today that the country’s three largest cinema chains Odeon, Cineworld and Vue – who control 80 per cent of cinema screens around the country – have refused to show the advert because they believe it “carries the risk of upsetting, or offending, audiences”. Despite the film receiving clearance from both the Cinema Advertising Authority and British Board of Film Classification, the cinemas are still refusing to show the advert.

The Rev. Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Church of England, said: “The prospect of a multi-generational cultural event offered by the release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on 18 December – a week before Christmas Day – was too good an opportunity to miss and we are shocked and bewildered by the decision of the cinemas.

“The Lord’s Prayer is prayed by billions of people across the globe every day and in this country has been part of everyday life for centuries. Prayer permeates every aspect of our culture from pop songs and requiems to daily assemblies and national commemorations. For millions of people in the United Kingdom, prayer is a constant part of their lives whether as part thanksgiving and praise, or as a companion through our darkest hours.

“In one way the decision of the cinemas is just plain silly but the fact that they have insisted upon it makes it rather chilling in terms of limiting free speech. There is still time for the cinemas to change their mind and we would certainly welcome that. In the meantime people should visit the site, see the film themselves and make up their own minds as to whether they are upset or offended by it.”


Late last night I wrote to The Palace via its Twitter account.


Last drinks, last drinks, last drinks please. The slush fund money is drying up - where did it go?

Calling legal, banking, finance, handwriting and Optical Recognition experts.

Your expertise would be most highly regarded right now.   No reward with money, sorry, can't afford that - but your reward will be great in heaven.

Any banking experts help out with the meaning of these back of cheque endorsements?

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Now optical recognition experts - and banking experts to as to BSB or other numbers that could help.

For context (much more about that in an explanatory bigger article soon - shitting yourself yet luv??) These are the banking pay in entry from Athol James for the money laundering cheques the offender GILLARD, Julia Eileen DOB 29 SEP 1961, (NR NW yet) used to convert Wilson's money in payment for Athol James's invoices.

The files are exhibited by the TURC here - the invoices are in chronological order, then the cheque pay-in details.

First cheque drawn on her State Bank account in Collingwood.

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Next one records a Gillard cheque drawn on a CBA account - optical recognition or acute eye sight would help with the branch details.

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This one might be the provence of the gods.

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Lastly, this tantalising entry recording a $161 payment from the offender in favour of a James invoice for $161.

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Paid in on 27 February 1996.   Just as the Kerr Street sale settled.   By this stage the poor darling offender was persona non grata at Slaters.  

The cheque from the person who laundered Bruce Wilson's cash into cheques for Athol James relates to this invoice from the builder himself.   Check the date.

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If you were a skeptical, believe-no-crooks sort of investigator (every touch leaves its trace) - you might form the view that this request for Athol to do some last minute work like supplying and fitting a new lock and stuff might have been made as knowledge that the money was drying up hit home.

Always keep an open mind until the appeal period is up.   Maybe it might be worth having a look at what the co-offender (now flipping burgers, formerly a criminal mastermind)  Bruce was up to with the last of the undeclared (by the offender) slush funds.

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 More soon, saya berjanji.