Two Islamic college leaders were this afternoon found guilty of fraudulently claiming millions of dollars from the State and Federal governments to help get the school out of financial trouble.
A District Court jury convicted Australian Islamic College founder Abdallah Saad Magar of 14 out of 15 fraud charges. Principal Aziz Magdi was found guilty of five out of nine fraud charges. A third man, another principal, Mark Brian Debowski, was acquitted of his three fraud charges.
During the three-week trial, the prosecution told the jury that Magar was the "driving force" behind the fraud from 2005 to 2006. The prosecution also told the jury the fraud involved inflating student numbers at the college's three campuses at Dianella, Kewdale and Thornlie in order to obtain extra money in government subsidies and that Magdi and Mr Debowski had knowingly signed off on the claim forms.
The court was told the money was not used for personal gain, but rather went into the college because many of its students were not paying fees. Prosecutor Paul Yovich said during the trial that the college claimed government money for students who never went to the college or had left to go to another school or move overseas.
He said the trial was not about religion in any way.
The three men were charged in June 2008 following a police raid on the college's campuses and headquarters in January 2007.
After the verdicts were handed down today, Mr Yovich said he would be seeking a significant term of imprisonment for Magar.Magar and Magdi were released on bail and will be sentenced on April 27.
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