Disgraced former Victorian Liberal Party director Damien Mantach has been sentenced to five years’ jail for stealing more than $1.5 million from state party coffers.
He pleaded guilty to 15 charges of obtaining financial advantage by deception over an elaborate scheme to steal money from the party executive using fake invoices from June 2010 until just after the 2014 election.
The judge said it was a protracted and deliberate crime, and Mantach had suffered humiliating publicity after being caught.
Court documents revealed Mantach amassed a small fortune through kickbacks from inflated printing and logistics invoices from one of the party’s official suppliers, Melbourne Mailing.
Mantach told auditors it was common practice for parties to pay inflated invoices from printers and other suppliers in order to divert funds to other areas.
The Victorian Liberal Party has since unveiled sweeping reforms designed to protect the party’s finances.
The party told the court Mantach’s actions were a betrayal.
Mantach moved to Victoria in 2008 after serving as state director with the Tasmanian Liberal Party from 2005.