A solicitor has been charged with fraud against Legal Aid Queensland and money laundering in the wake of a 16-month investigation – codenamed Operation Jackal–by the state’s criminal watchdog.
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) today revealed that a 46-year-old Burleigh Heads man had been served with a notice to appear in court to face three counts of money laundering, two counts of fraud, two counts of supplying a dangerous drug and three counts of possessing a dangerous drug.
The CCC said in a statement that it would be alleged the money laundering involved proceeds of serious criminal offences paid by clients for legal services undertaken by the firm. It will be further alleged the fraud offences were committed against Legal Aid Queensland.
The man was been previously charged by the CCC with two counts of possessing a dangerous drug in July 2020.
A 38-year-old woman, also from Burleigh Heads, has been charged with four counts of possessing a dangerous drug.
The pair are scheduled to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday 13 January 2021.
CCC Chair Alan MacSporran QC said allegations of criminal offending by individuals associated with the legal profession were concerning.
“In my view, any alleged criminal offending by individuals associated with the legal profession is very serious,” Mr MacSporran said. “Legal Aid Queensland helps Queenslanders engage with the legal system. Any fraud on Legal Aid ultimately impacts on taxpayers and those people who are financially disadvantaged that require access to their services.”