Former National Union of Workers’ New South Wales secretary Derrick Belan, has today fronted court, accused of using the union credit card to pay for cars, hotels, sex toys, tattoos, Botox injections, dating websites and even lawyers for his own divorce proceedings. The total costs of the alleged fraud are estimated to be in excess of $440,000. Mr Belan, whose niece Danielle O’Brien was last year found guilty of defrauding the National Union of Workers of more than $400,000, is alleged to have lodged false invoices and conducted fraudulent electronic transfers between 2011 and 2015.
The hearing is set to run for 2 weeks, and will include testimonies from more than 50 witnesses, including Belan’s mother and brother in law. Belan is facing charges for 62 different offences, including dishonestly obtaining financial advantage or causing disadvantage by deception, and stealing property from an employer. The allegations are just the latest in a string of revelations which have emerged since the Royal Commission into trade union governance and corruption was conducted in 2014 and 2015. If found guilty, Belan could face up to 5 years in prison. He has pled not guilty to the charges.