Two prominent solicitors charged with money laundering and fraud after separate and unrelated investigations by Queensland’s criminal watchdog have had their matters mentioned in Court this week.
High-profile Gold Coast criminal lawyer Campbell MacCallum fronted the Brisbane Magistrates Court yesterday (Tuesday 12 January) for mention of charges including three counts of money laundering, two counts of fraud, two counts of supplying a dangerous drug and three counts of possessing a dangerous drug.
In a separate hearing on Monday, the director of two Brisbane law firms David Steven Sorban had his 94 fraud-related charges and six counts of money laundering mentioned before the same court.
The pair were charged as a result of lengthy, but unrelated investigations by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission.
The CCC, in a previously released statement, said it would be alleged MacCallum had laundered money which were the “proceeds of serious criminal offences paid by clients for legal services undertaken by (his) firm (Moloney MacCallum Abdelshahied Lawyers).”
It is expected prosecutors will allege the fraud offences were committed against Legal Aid Queensland and involved MacCallum knowingly enabling clients to submit applications for the taxpayer-funded legal service despite being aware they could afford to pay for his services.
MacCallum, 46, and who is on conditional bail, had his case adjourned for further mention on 22 February.
On Monday, Sorban, 42, of Ascot, and three others had charges against them mentioned for the first time in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, but were excused from attending the hearing due to the three-day lockdown COVID-19 restrictions imposed on people living in the greater Brisbane area.
In November, Proctor reported Sorban was one of four people arrested during the CCC’s 18-month “Operation Mercury’’ investigation.
The CCC, at the time, said three men and one woman had been charged with offences including money laundering.
“It will be alleged the four people charged …were involved in serious fraud offences against a number of financial institutions,” the statement said.
“It will also be alleged those charged … laundered the proceeds of serious criminal offences.”
Those charged are:
- A 45-year-old Helensvale man, who has been served with a notice to front court on five counts of aggravated fraud, 89 counts of fraud, seven counts of fraudulent falsification of records and six counts of money laundering. He also has a separate matter already before the courts in regards to a charge of money laundering relating to the seizure of $97,000 in cash on 24 February 2020.
- A 37-year-old Helensvale woman, who has been charged with one count of aggravated fraud, 76 counts of fraud, three counts of fraudulent falsification of records and three counts of money laundering.
- A 36-year-old Helensvale man, who is charged with 12 counts of fraud, two counts of fraudulent falsification of records, one count of money laundering and one count of perjury.
- A 42-year-old Brisbane solicitor, from Ascot, who has been served with a notice to appear in court to face six counts of aggravated fraud, 77 counts of fraud, seven counts of fraudulent falsification of records and seven counts of money laundering. This man was previously charged in relation to one count of money laundering relating to the seizure of $97,000 in cash on 24 February 2020, and was also charged in September 2020 with 12 counts of supplying a dangerous drug.
Sorban and his fellow-accused had their matters adjourned for mention on February 8.