A Perth jockey who allowed his bank account to be used by his best friend in a scam to siphon more than $11,000 from Racing and Wagering WA has been fined $3000.
Clint Kenneth Harvey, 28, pleaded guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court on Tuesday to 21 charges of gaining a benefit by fraud when he took part in the scam in 2007.
The court was told that Harvey’s best friend, Bernard James Ryan, 30, was a handicapper with Racing and Wagering WA, and used its computers to fraudulently shift money, disguised as late scratching fees for jockeys.
Jockeys assigned to horses that were later scratched received the fees, but Ryan was siphoning off money for scratched horses that had no riders assigned to them.
That money should have stayed with the racing authority, which uncovered the scam in a later audit, the court heard.
Ryan was shifting the money to Harvey’s bank account with his friend’s agreement.
But Harvey’s counsel, Michael Tudori, told the court that his client transferred all the money, totalling $11,358, back to Ryan and he had after some months pulled out of the scam, saying “enough was enough”.
Ryan, who is due to be sentenced for his part in the scam in June, went on to use other jockeys’ accounts, the court heard.
Mr Tudori said Harvey received no direct benefit and had cooperated fully in a racing stewards’ inquiry in 2010 and later with police.
He said his client had been stood down as a jockey in May 2010 and faced suspension, which would mean a big loss of income for him and substantial hardship.
Mr Tudori said Harvey had been under great stress in the lead-up to the offences.
He said that included Harvey’s partner becoming a paraplegic after a horse riding accident in 2005 and soon afterwards Harvey himself suffering a broken back and head injury that put him in hospital for five months and out of racing until 2007.
Magistrate Richard Bayly said the offences were serious but he noted Harvey had received no benefit and had assisted racing stewards and the police fraud squad in their inquiries.
He fined Harvey $3000 plus $121.95 in court costs.