A decorated former Royal Australian Navy chief and now former Sydney Ferries’ CEO has been jailed for fraud, reported The Australian.
Geoffrey Smith was jailed on August 25 for at least 18 months after defrauding the government corporation of more than $200,000.
Smith was hired to help turn the troubled transport company around in August 2006, but began using his CEO credit card for personal expenses. From September 2006 to May 2008, he defrauded Sydney Ferries of more than $128,000. He eventually paid back all but $23 of this but then went on to steal a further $111,649.
His purchases included expensive family holidays, repayments on a Sydney home valued at more than $2 million, a swimming pool, the lease of two BMW cars, and jewelry.
Smith plead guilty to one charge of cheating or defrauding Sydney Ferries and told the court earlier this year that the reasoning behind his decisions was due to a promise to his ailing wife of a comfortable home in her retirement.
The judge, whose initial thought was that the sentence might be able to be served by way of an Intensive Correction Order rather than full-time imprisonment, sentenced Smith to a minimum of 18 months and a maximum of two-and-a-half years. The case proved to be a “very serious example of a major fraud.”
At the time of his retirement from the navy in 2002 he was Maritime Commander of the Australian Fleet, had won a number of military decorations and had been made an officer of the Order of Australia.
The retired rear admiral will be eligible for release in February 2016.