20 Mar 2020
A whistleblower and former employee of ClubsNSW is suing the organisation for around $2 million.
Troy Stolz, who worked for ClubsNSW for nine years, is taking legal action in the Federal Circuit Court alleging bullying, sham contracting, underpayment and other breaches of the Fair Work Act.
The industry group represents over 1,000 RSL, sporting and other clubs and has successfully lobbied and agitated against poker machine reforms across the country.
Mr Stolz is a former anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance (AML/CTF) compliance auditor at ClubsNSW, who told the ABC in February that money laundering through poker machines in pubs and clubs was rife.
According to the statement of claim, Mr Stolz is also suing for defamation.
He claims that long-time ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball and its ClubSAFE manager Jim Terrie ruined his reputation in the industry by making out he was of “bad character” and that his performance was “substandard”.
Part of Mr Stolz’s job involved advising and training staff from member clubs on what the law required them to do to prevent money-laundering, particularly around poker machines.
Mr Stolz told the ABC that ClubsNSW and senior staff bullied and blacklisted him, preventing him from working with its member clubs after he quit his job in September 2019.
“Everyone is entitled to earn a living,” he said.
“I’ve got kids to feed and bills to pay. I can’t even get a job picking up glasses.”
Mr Stolz is claiming around $2 million for damages in lost earnings and backpay.
‘Massive’ and ‘alarming’ scale of money laundering
Earlier this year, Mr Stolz told the ABC he was the source of an internal ClubsNSW board document referred to by independent Federal MP Andrew Wilkie in parliament.
In the document, dated May 2019, ClubsNSW estimated that only 5 to 10 per cent of clubs were complying with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance laws.
Mr Stolz told the ABC that low and mid-tier drug operations were exploiting club pokies rooms, depositing large sums of cash into poker machines, playing for a short period of time then withdrawing the laundered money.
“The crooks are going [into pubs and clubs] with their drug money and putting it in the machines and the crooks are cleaning it,” he said.
In a speech to Federal Parliament, Mr Wilkie said up to 95 per cent of clubs in NSW were “operating illegally” by not complying with the laws.
Mr Wilkie requested leave to table the ClubsNSW board document in Parliament but leave was not granted, in a move he described as a “cover-up”.
A ClubsNSW spokesperson told the ABC at the time the speech was “more anti-club hysteria from Andrew Wilkie”.
By Steve Cannane and Kyle Taylor, ABC, 20 March 2020
Read more at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
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