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Andrew Theophanous, Former MP, Convicted On Four Counts Of Fraud

May 22, 2002

Andrew Theophanous, the former Labor member for Calwell in the House of Representatives, was today convicted of four charges of bribery and defrauding the Commonwealth. Theophanous was remanded in custody after being found guilty in the County Court. He will be sentenced later.

Theophanous was charged with bribery and defrauding the Commonwealth over accusations that he sought or obtained thousands of dollars to help Chinese nationals with visa applications and other immigration matters. The charges also alleged that in one case Theophanous sought sexual favours from a woman.

He was acquitted on one charge. The jury failed to reach a verdict on a sixth charge. The trial began in March and the jury commenced deliberations last Friday. Yesterday, the jury informed the judge, Graeme Crossley, that it had reached a verdict on four counts, but was unable to decide on the other two.

Theophanous, a member of the ALP's Socialist Left faction, was elected to the outer-Melbourne electorate of Burke in 1980 and again in 1983. Following the redistribution and enlargement of the House of Representatives, he was elected to the newly-created seat of Calwell in 1984. He was re-elected in 1987, 1990, 1993, 1996 and 1998. Calwell is a safe Labor seat that includes the suburbs of Broadmeadows, Keilor, Tullamarine, Gladstone Park, Taylors Lakes, Sydenham, and Roxburgh Park. It extends to Diggers Rest in the north.

In April 2000, following National Crime Authority investigations and the laying of charges, Theophanous resigned from the ALP and sat as an independent.

He contested Calwell as an independent at the 2001 election, polling 9.63% of the primary vote. The seat is now held for the ALP by Maria Vamvakinou.

Theophanous's brother, Theo, is the ALP member for Jika Jika Province in the Victorian Legislative Council.

Andrew Theophanous is the author of a book titled Australian Democracy In Crisis: A Radical Approach To Australian Politics, published in 1980.

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