Former Kimberley CEO sentenced on dishonesty charges

Alan Hugh Bishop, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of Garnduwa Amboorny Wirnan Aboriginal Corporation (Garnduwa), has today been sentenced in the District Court in Perth to two years imprisonment.

Mr Bishop was convicted of 38 offences under subsection 265-25(3)(a) of the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) for dishonestly using his position as CEO to gain an advantage for himself or another person, or to cause a detriment to Garnduwa. The charges were laid against Mr Bishop in May 2016 following an investigation by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven.

Mr Bishop entered a plea of guilty to each of the 38 charges on 28 April 2017.

Garnduwa is a not-for-profit corporation that provides sporting programs for Aboriginal youth in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Its main source of income are grants from several Commonwealth and state government agencies.

On 37 occasions between July 2013 and December 2014, Mr Bishop, the CEO of Garnduwa since 1997, had a director co‑sign blank cheques that were then used by him to pay Garnduwa funds to himself as cash or into his personal bank account. On another occasion in August 2013 Mr Bishop used a Garnduwa cheque to pay funds to a third party to support his son’s employment. Mr Bishop had external suppliers create invoices and other documents to disguise the payments as legitimate business expenses of Garnduwa.

A total of $239,038.48 was dishonestly used by Mr Bishop. Garnduwa took civil action against Mr Bishop and he has repaid to Garnduwa all monies he misused.

Mr Bishop is to be released from prison after serving ten months on a $2000 bond to be of good behaviour for 18 months. His prison sentence commences today.

His conviction also automatically disqualifies Mr Bishop from managing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations for five years after he is released from prison.

‘CEOs occupy a very special position of trust within a not‑for‑profit corporation. They are entrusted by the members and directors to at all times act honestly and in the best interests of the corporation,’ said Anthony Beven. ‘Mr Bishop seriously misused that trust. My office will continue to ensure that CEOs that act dishonestly are held to account.’

The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Background

See the Registrar’s previous media releases of:

Media contact

Lisa Hugg
(02) 6146 4738

ORIC MR1718-08

20 October 2017