Darwin jury finds former CEO of legal service guilty

MR1415-32

The former chief executive officer (CEO) of the North Australian Aboriginal Family Violence Legal Services Aboriginal Corporation (NAAFVLS), Ms Veronica Cubillo, has today been found guilty in the Northern Territory Supreme Court of 11 criminal charges. The verdict was handed down by a jury after an eight day trial. Ms Cubillo had pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Based in Darwin, NAAFVLS provides legal services and assistance to the victims of family violence and sexual assault in 20 Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory.

These convictions follow a joint investigation by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, Anthony Beven and the Northern Territory Police. The charges were brought under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) and the Criminal Code (NT). In September 2014, Ms Cubillo was committed to stand trial on six offences under the CATSI Act and five offences under the Criminal Code.

Ten of the charges related to Ms Cubillo misusing corporation funds and forging documents to obtain a personal financial benefit totalling $9,574.50. The eleventh charge related to Ms Cubillo intentionally and dishonestly failing to properly exercise her duties as the CEO. Ms Cubillo had mis-used part of a $10,000 grant to fund an overseas trip to the Philippines. The funding had been provided to NAAFVLS by Imparja Television to run substance abuse workshops on Groote Eylandt.

Ms Cubillo will be sentenced in the Northern Territory Supreme Court on Thursday, 30 April 2015.

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

Background

For further information about this case please see the Registrar’s media releases of 24 October 2013 (ORIC MR1314-11) and 17 September 2014 (ORIC MR1415-08) at www.oric.gov.au.

Media contact

Lisa Hugg
0477 762 290
ORIC MR1415-32
23 April 2015