A former employee accused of stealing more than $48,000 from the Warrnambool Football Club will plead guilty.
Andrew Robb, 45, the club’s former general manager, appeared in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court yesterday charged with one count of theft and eight of obtaining property by deception.
The matter was adjourned for a plea hearing on August 25.
Defence solicitor Pat McComish said Mr Robb, of Canterbury Road, Warrnambool, would plead guilty to the charges, which involved a total of $48,500, following a case conference with police prosecutors last week.
Mr McComish told magistrate Peter Mellas a pre-sentence report would be prepared on Mr Robb and was optimistic it would be completed in time for the hearing.
Senior Sergeant Lee Porter, of the Warrnambool police crime investigation unit, said detectives Jason Bourke and the now retired Colin Ryan initiated inquiries after police became aware of issues at the football club in September 2012.
He said the detectives went to the club’s Cramer Street headquarters, which include a gaming centre, and focused on financial records dating back to 2009.
Senior Sergeant Porter said the lengthy investigation involved the examination of thousands of documents and interviews with club personnel and potential witnesses.
He said it was a difficult investigation due to the varying courses of alleged conduct involving theft/deception offences claimed to have been committed by Mr Robb.
Senior Sergeant Porter said Warrnambool detectives consulted with Victoria Police major fraud group officers.
The file was reviewed by a forensic accountant with the major fraud group, who recommended Mr Robb be charged with one count of theft and eight of obtaining property by deception relating to activities between 2010 and 2012.