Registrar lays charges against former Kimberley CEO

Following an investigation by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven, charges have been laid against the former chief executive officer (CEO) of the Garnduwa Amboorny Wirnan Aboriginal Corporation for misusing his position.

It is alleged that Mr Alan Hugh Bishop dishonestly misused his position as CEO of Garnduwa on 38 occasions to transfer corporation funds into his own personal bank or credit card accounts. From July 2013 to December 2014 Mr Bishop is alleged to have created false records to raise 38 Garnduwa cheques totalling $237,305.48 that he used for his own personal benefit.

Thirty-eight charges have been brought against Mr Bishop under section 265-25(3)(a) of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act). The section carries a maximum penalty of $340,000 or imprisonment for five years, or both, for each charge.

Garnduwa was established in 1992 and is registered under the CATSI Act. It is a not-for-profit corporation that provides sporting programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in the Kimberley region of northern Western Australia. Its main source of income is grants from several Commonwealth and state government agencies. Additional income comes from sponsorship and donations.

‘I would like to commend the corporation’s auditor, Ms Alison Fong, who first detected an issue with the cheques and, after making inquiries, reported it to the directors and my office,’ Mr Beven said. ‘Garnduwa’s directors acted promptly by terminating Mr Bishop’s employment and commencing action against him in the civil courts. They have also provided invaluable assistance to my office during our investigation.’

Mr Bishop is due to appear before the Perth Magistrates Court on 29 July 2016.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.

Media contact
Patricia Gibson
(02) 6146 4743
ORIC MR1516-20
16 May 2016