Surf Life Saving boss arrested over alleged $2.7m fraud

Former Surf Life Saving NSW boss Matthew Hanks has been arrested this morning by police investigating a $2.7 million fraud.

It will be alleged Hanks, 50, stole the money while he was general manager of the charity and used the money to fund a luxury lifestyle with two northern beaches mansions and a $490,000 yacht called Matadore.

Former head of Surf Life Saving NSW Matthew Hanks.
Former head of Surf Life Saving NSW Matthew Hanks.

State Crime Command's Financial Crimes Squad's Detective Acting Superintendent Richard Puffett said police would allege Hanks engaged in "complex and sophisticated" fraud for 10 years.

It allegedly spanned a period from 2006 to 2016.

He said Hanks allegedly worked alone and had two main ways of defrauding the volunteer organisation.

"Two main methods was the use of fraudulent invoices in terms of (fleet) vehicle sales and a false printing company set up and funds misappropriated via that," he said.

"We believe it was complex, sustained and quite brazen."

Police will allege Hanks overcharged for the services of his printing business and undervalued the sale of fleet vehicles.

Det Act Sup Puffett said police were notified of the alleged fraud by NSW Surf Life Saving in 2017.

The yacht 'Matador'.
The yacht 'Matador'.

In March 2017, detectives from the Financial Crimes Squad and Northern Beaches Police Area Command established Strike Force Splint to investigate the reported misappropriation of funds.

Det Act Sup Puffett said Hanks presented himself to the Wollongong Police Station on Wednesday morning through an arrangement with his lawyers.

He is expected to be charged with more than 50 offences.

 

Hanks presented himself to Wollongong Police Station today.
Hanks presented himself to Wollongong Police Station today.


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