REVEALED: Identity of CQ man who allegedly stole $465,000

UPDATE 3.30PM:

What we know so far:

  • Police charge a Rockhampton man, 54, with fraud after a year long investigation
  • The man is a qualified accountant and was serving on the CQ Rugby Union committee
  • It is alleged Ian Coombe was involved in a fraudulent $450,000 loan
  • He will appear in court on January 30

Australia's corporate regulator ASIC has taken a number of actions to ban individuals from financial services who have been convicted of fraud.

However, in a statement to The Morning Bulletin an ASIC spokeswoman said the regulator did not oversee accountants, "unless they were also separately licensed to provide financial advice in relation to financial products".

The Morning Bulletin sought comment from ASIC after Capricornia Police Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow this afternoon said police were not investigating the business dealings of a Rockhampton man, today charged with fraud.

Det Insp Shadlow said this would be a matter for the corporate regulatory bodies.

The ASIC spokeswoman says there is little indication Rockhampton accountant, Ian Coombe, was personally licensed or authorised to provide financial services regulated by ASIC.

"However, he may be licensed or authorised through a business he operates," a spokesperson said.

She said the Chartered Accountants in Australia, Institute of Public Accountants, Certified Practicing Accountants of Australia or Tax Practitioners Board might have information.

UPDATE 1.50PM: SPECIALIST Queensland Police fraud and corruption officers were flown into Rockhampton to help investigate a complaint against a prominent member of the city's sporting community.

Capricornia District Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow said police had charged a man, 54, following a "complex" police investigation, which lasted more than 12 months.

Accountant and former CQ Rugby Union stalwart Ian Coombe will appear in court later this month, charged with one count of fraud.

It is alleged the fraud centres around a loan for more than $450,000.

Det Insp Shadlow said it would be alleged the fraud occurred while the accused was serving on the committee of the Central Queensland Rugby Union.

"CQ Rugby Union has not been able to play a game at its home since this came to light," Det Insp Shadlow said.

He said the investigation followed a complaint to police by the CQ Rugby Union.

"Fraud is a complex thing to investigate," Det Insp Shadlow said.

"We don't often see (fraud) to this scale."

He said the investigation was still ongoing, with further charges possible.

Det Insp Shadlow said it was for ASIC to deal with the accused's status as a practicing accountant.

UPDATE 1PM: THE MORNING Bulletin understand the man at the centre of an almost half a million fraud investigation is the former president of Central Queensland Rugby Union (CQRU) Ian Coombe. 

AT THE HELM: CQ Rugby Union chief Ian Coombe has been honoured for his dedication to the code with a life membership.
AT THE HELM: CQ Rugby Union chief Ian Coombe has been honoured for his dedication to the code with a life membership. Chris Ison

The Central Queensland Rugby Union (CQRU) was placed into liquidation in September 2014 and had immediate emergency talks with the Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) about its financial trouble.

Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow of Rockhampton CIB revealed specialist crews who specifically investigate fraud were called in to assist with the investigation, which was conducted over 12 months. 

Det Insp Shadlow said the fraud charge was in relation to one allegation and police were investigating further claims of fraudulent activity. 

He also confirmed the man charged was an accountant in Rockhampton. 

More to come. 

INITIAL: A PROTRACTED fraud investigation has today led to the arrest of a Rockhampton man.

Rockhampton Detectives this morning charged a 54-year-old local man with fraud offences in excess of $400,000.

It will be alleged that in June of 2015, the man fraudulently obtained $465,000 through a loan while acting as the president of a local sporting governing body.

The Rockhampton man has been charged with one count of fraud with a circumstance of aggravation over $300,000 and has been bailed to appear in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court at a later date.

Rockhampton Police are expected to release more information at a press event from 1pm.

More to come.



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