Murchison officers to front Federal Court

Legal proceedings by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations against two former officers of the Murchison Region Aboriginal Corporation – alleged to have misused a total of more than a million dollars of corporation funds – are set to begin in the Federal Court in Perth next week.

Registrar of Indigenous Corporations Anthony Beven is taking action against the MRAC’s former executive officer Ashley Taylor and its former finance officer Abdul Shahid, alleging they have contravened their duties as officers of the corporation under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act.

MRAC is a charitable corporation based in Geraldton that provides housing to Aboriginal people in the Murchison and Gascoyne regions of WA.

Mr Taylor and Mr Shahid were employed by MRAC from 2002-2014.

The Registrar alleges that over a four-year period to November 2014, Mr Taylor and Mr Shahid made significant payments to themselves from MRAC’s funds.

Mr Taylor is alleged to have received 107 payments totalling $211,612.41, repaid $29,085 and to still owe $182,527.41 to MRAC.

Mr Shahid is alleged to owe MRAC $217,956.75 after he received 117 payments totalling $1,381,413.55 and repaid $1,163,456.75.

In July 2015, the Registrar obtained interim orders in the Federal Court to freeze the assets of the two men. The orders were vacated in February 2016.

The proceedings have been set down for a first case management hearing on July 18.

Wendy Caccetta

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