A judge has found former Ipswich mayor Andrew Antoniolli guilty of 13 fraud-related charges, criticising his testimony for being “largely self-serving and significantly contrived”.
The 48-year-old was on trial last month in the Ipswich Magistrates Court for 12 counts of fraud and one count of attempted fraud between 2005 and 2017.
He was today found guilty of all charges, stemming from buying items at charity auctions — including a football jersey, several artworks and a bicycle — and charging them to the council’s community donation fund.
The courtroom was filled with Antoniolli’s family, friends, media and community members.
Antoniolli’s wife began crying when Magistrate Anthony Gett described her husband’s witness testimony as “evasive, reflective and deliberately unresponsive to crucial issues”.
“My overall assessment of the defendant’s evidence was that it was largely self-serving and significantly contrived,” Magistrate Gett told the court.
He said while he believed Antoniolli genuinely cared about community groups, he found he was dishonest in his intent.
“My overall observations of his conduct and demeanour answering questions in the witness box gave the impression his evidence appeared to be rehearsed and lacked a ring of truth,” he said.
Antoniolli will remain on bail until he is sentenced on July 30.
The entire Ipswich City Council was sacked last year by the State Government as a result of a corruption probe and an administrator was brought in.
Sixteen people have been charged as a result of the Crime and Corruption Commission’s investigation, including several current or former council employees or councillors.