A former union boss has been jailed for using more than half a million dollars of union money to splurge on cars, motorcycles, holidays, cosmetic surgery and divorce lawyers.
Derrick Belan, the former head of the National Union of Workers NSW, was sentenced to four years in jail by a magistrate on Monday.
As a fighter for workers’ rights, Belan was paid generously and became accustomed to a certain lifestyle.
To accommodate it, he ripped off the very same people he was meant to be fighting for – union members who couldn’t fight for themselves.
Magistrate Elizabeth Ellis said she rejected Belan’s submission that he had no knowledge of the misuse of union funds.
Those funds were used to pay for holidays, cars, a Harley Davidson motorbike, tattoos and botox injections.
He even spent money of weight loss surgery for his partner – then on lawyers for their divorce.
In total, Belan spent $650,000 to fund his lavish lifestyle.
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The magistrate found Belan guilty on 66 charges and subsequently sentenced him to four years in jail.
“The paper trail led to Belan instigating, knowing about, authorising, and benefiting from a matrix of fraud he set up,” the magistrate said.
Belan was afforded no leniency because he showed no remorse and has revealed no motive for ripping off union members.
The magistrate put it down to personal greed.
The former union secretary will be eligible for parole in March 2021.