Former Federal parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper faces fraud charges after an Australian Federal Police investigation into his alleged misuse of taxpayer-funded taxi vouchers.
The AFP confirmed yesterday it had served a summons on Mr Slipper through his lawyer in relation to three offences of dishonestly causing a risk of a loss to the Commonwealth.
He is expected to be charged when he appears in Canberra Magistrate's Court on February 15.
According to the summons filed in the court yesterday, Mr Slipper is accused of breaking the rules for private car service entitlements on three occasions in 2010 for travel around Canberra.
On January 20 he was alleged to have racked up a $337 Cabcharge bill, on April 19 a $375 bill and on June 27 a $120 bill.
It is alleged he travelled beyond a 30km radius of Parliament House, breaking a little-known rule concerning MPs' travel. It will also be claimed the travel was not for parliamentary business.
Department of Finance records released under Freedom of Information laws show that on the dates of the alleged offences, Mr Slipper claimed for car services for multiple trips to destinations including Parliament House, city and "suburbs".
During the six months when the alleged offences occurred, Mr Slipper's total Cabcharge bill was $16,144.
Each fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of five years jail, meaning that if found guilty Mr Slipper would be forced to leave Parliament.
However, the court case is likely to drag on past the next election, when Mr Slipper appears almost certain to lose his seat.
The alleged offences were while Mr Slipper was still a member of the Liberal National Party.
The AFP launched an investigation into Mr Slipper's Cabcharge spending after his former staffer James Ashby claimed the Queensland MP had misused his travel entitlements by signing blank Cabcharge vouchers and giving them to drivers three times early last year.
The travel fraud allegation was included - but later dropped - in Mr Ashby's sexual harassment civil case against his boss.
The sexual harassment claim was thrown out of court last month as an abuse of process.
Mr Slipper has long had a reputation as one of the biggest spenders of parliamentary entitlements.He has repaid the Finance Department more than $20,000 in wrongly claimed expenses since 1999, most of it related to travel.
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