Former public servant pleads guilty to corruption offences after operating driver licence scheme - 2 November 2016
A former casual employee of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) was sentenced this afternoon in the Southport District Court to four years imprisonment to serve six months, after which the sentence is suspended for four years, for fraudulently issuing driver licences, licence upgrades and vehicle registrations in return for cash payments.
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) commenced Operation Danish in 2014 after receiving information a public servant may have been involved in fraudulently issuing genuine Queensland driver licences.
Sheree Jane Tritton was charged by the CCC in February 2015 with 57 counts of official corruption, five counts of attempted corruption and one count of fraud after accepting between $100 and $2000 for each fraudulent licence. She pleaded guilty to all charges.
As a result of a separate investigation, the Queensland Police Service also charged Tritton with official corruption for her role in issuing fraudulent vehicle registrations.
In total, Tritton was charged with 94 criminal offences including 88 separate counts of official corruption.
The court found Tritton fraudulently issued or transferred 31 vehicle registrations and issued or upgraded 57 driver licences between 1 July 2012 and 13 December 2013 and received at least $20,000 in cash for the fraudulent transactions.
The CCC’s Executive Director Corruption, Dianne McFarlane, said the offending was brazen and the public servant abused her position and the trust placed in her by the Department.
“Today’s sentence should serve as a timely reminder to all public servants that they are not immune from serious criminal charges and custodial sentences when it can be demonstrated to the court they have engaged in serious corruption,” Ms McFarlane said.
“Not only was this offending corrupt and criminal in nature, it had the potential to cause major safety issues on Queensland roads after people received upgraded driver licences, including heavy rigid and motorcycle licences, without undergoing the necessary training.”
As a result of Operation Danish, the CCC charged two other people with official corruption offences for their role in the scheme. They were associates of Tritton and organised a number of people to contact her for the licences. One associate received a custodial sentence of three years, with immediate parole. The other associate is still before the court.
Forty-four (44) other people were charged by the CCC and have been convicted of fraud offences for paying for and receiving the fraudulently issued licences and upgrades.
The CCC received the full cooperation of the DTMR during its investigation.