Union officer allegedly gambles $1 million of members’ funds

by Chloe Taylor25 May 2015
A Brisbane man is being investigated for spending $1 million dollars of Queensland Police Union (QPU) money on online gambling sites.

The Courier Mail reported that Kelly Harris resigned as finance officer for the union when an annual audit revealed that the money was missing.

It was reported that money had been dispersed from the union into several bank accounts, after which it was used to place bets on horse races via a series of gambling sites.

The sum of money reportedly disappeared over a six month period. Harris’ colleagues alleged that they never saw him gambling and were ‘shocked’ by the discovery of the missing funds.

His colleagues also claimed that Harris had no assets and appeared to live modestly.

Harris is reported to have hired a lawyer and deleted his social media accounts since the story broke.

Police officers learned of the incident in an email from QPU president Ian Leavers last week.

“An issue was identified by the Queensland Police Union that related to a civilian staff member working as a finance officer, not a police officer, senior staff member or an elected official,” the email said.

“Upon the issue being identified the QPU acted immediately and reported the alleged matters to various authorities, including the Queensland Police Service,” he added. “Now that a person engaged to perform internal financial work for the union has breached that trust, we have acted swiftly.”

One source referred to the theft as “the ultimate breach of trust”, adding that “the organisation is there to help police.”

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