Personal tools

Skip links and keyboard navigation

You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases CMC restrains final property in Morehu-Barlow case — 13.12.2012
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases CMC restrains final property in Morehu-Barlow case — 13.12.2012
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases CMC restrains final property in Morehu-Barlow case — 13.12.2012

CMC restrains final property in Morehu-Barlow case — 13.12.2012

The Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) has frozen what are expected to be the final assets belonging to former Queensland Health employee Hohepa Hikairo Morehu-Barlow.

The Supreme Court in Brisbane today granted a restraining order over more than 150 items, including gifts Mr Morehu-Barlow gave his friends and former Queensland Health colleagues.

The restrained property includes a tablet computer, Blu-ray Disc player, jewellery, designer clothes and cash.

The CMC has now frozen a total of $12,087,352 worth of assets in this case, through nine separate restraining orders obtained since last December.

The CMC’s acting director of financial investigations Angela Pyke said it was one of the largest proceeds of crime matters the organisation had dealt with.

‘This has been a unique case because of the size and nature of the alleged public sector fraud,’ she said.

‘It is unusual to restrain smaller items such as clothing, homewares and accessories. However, because this alleged crime involved a substantial amount of public money, the CMC believed it was in the public interest to restrain all property, regardless of value, in order to recover every dollar possible.

‘This ensures that as much money as possible is returned to public coffers.

‘It also acts as a deterrent by sending potential offenders a message that the state can and will recover the proceeds of their crimes.’

Today’s court order has also given the Public Trustee permission to sell a long list of Mr Morehu-Barlow’s belongings that were frozen under previously obtained restraining orders.

The property includes artworks, furniture, appliances and jewellery.

The Public Trustee will now sell these items. The proceeds will still belong to Mr Morehu-Barlow but will be held in trust until a court orders that they be forfeited to the state.

The CMC has already applied to have all previously restrained assets forfeited, and will seek formal court orders once the criminal proceedings are finalised.

All proceeds recovered will be returned to the state.

Under legislation, the CMC is responsible for administering the state’s civil confiscation scheme.

The CMC can apply to restrain assets belonging to a person who hasn’t been convicted of a criminal offence as long as there is a reasonable suspicion they have been involved in serious criminal activity in the past six years.

Once assets have been restrained, the CMC has 28 days to apply to have them forfeited. 

Ms Pyke said the CMC had recently reached a milestone, having successfully had more than $40 million worth of assets forfeited to the state.

‘Since 2003 when the Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act 2002 came into force, the CMC has returned $40,928,353 to the state and restrained $154,187,459 worth of property.’

Separately, as on the public record, the CMC has progressed a misconduct investigation into the alleged Queensland Health fraud.

As detailed in the CMC’s Annual Report 2011-12, an inter-agency taskforce was established to coordinate the investigation into the alleged fraud, including representatives from Queensland Health, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, the Queensland Police Service (QPS), the Queensland Audit Office and the CMC.

The CMC’s investigation has also examined how Queensland Health’s Ethical Standards Unit (ESU) and the QPS dealt with information relating to allegations of misconduct received by the CMC in August 2010 and passed to the ESU. As a matter of transparency, the investigation has also examined how the CMC dealt with that information.

The CMC is preparing a public report arising from the investigation. It will be released after court proceedings involving Mr Morehu-Barlow are finalised.

Last updated: 14 December 2012
Stay up to date
Subscribe for website news and updates Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Subscribe to the CCC RSS feed
For all media enquiries, please contact:

[email protected] or
07 3360 6000

Rate this page

How useful was the information on this page?