'Corrupt' WA senior official still in jail

Former Department of Communities executive Paul Whyte faces more than 500 corruption charges

A former senior bureaucrat at the centre of Western Australia's biggest public sector theft has not ruled out trying to get out of jail on bail while his lawyers try to ascertain if his fraud was as eye-watering as alleged.

A barely recognisable former Department of Communities executive Paul Whyte, 56, appeared via video link from Hakea Prison in Perth Magistrates Court on Monday, sporting a grey beard and having clearly lost weight.

His case was adjourned while he seeks legal advice, with his counsel Michael Tudori telling reporters outside court work continued to determine the scale of the fraud, which his client generally admits.

Whyte previously signalled he was likely to plead guilty to more than 500 corruption charges stemming from the alleged $22 million rort.

He is accused of working with physiotherapist Jacob Anthonisz, 43, to raise false invoices for three shelf companies dating back to 2008, while bookkeeper Paola Colangelo, 45, has pleaded not guilty to nine counts of corruption over her alleged role in the scandal.

"He'll most likely plead guilty to the charges," Mr Tudori said.

"We need to work out that the amounts the prosecution alleges are correct."

Whyte and Anthonisz allegedly spent the money on racehorses, paying a horse stud service in New Zealand, and personal expenses and bills.

Whyte was locked up in December after he failed to find anyone to post his $1.5 million surety and subsequently had it reduced to $1 million, with the option of splitting the cost between two parties.

Mr Tudori suggested raising the money was not a problem.

"It's obviously conceded that he will ultimately receive a jail sentence, so at this stage, the time that he's serving inside Hakea comes off his sentence," the lawyer said.

"He's in no rush. He just wants to do it properly.

"He's just weighing things up at the moment, not ruling out he'll want to come out for bail."

Mr Tudori said Whyte was "doing well" and his weight loss was a consequence of healthy eating behind bars.

When Whyte previously secured bail, he attempted to take his own life at his Mosman Park home.

He then spent almost one month in hospital under an involuntary psychiatric order.

Anthonisz, who is out on bail, also faced Perth Magistrates Court on Monday and will next appear in the same court in April.

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