For last four months allegations have been made that Federal Labor MP and former Federal Secretary of the Health Services Union Craig Thomson had used his union credit card to make make unauthorised cash advances, and to pay for prostitutes.
He has denied those allegations, claiming the cash withdrawals were made by someone else, or if made by him, were appropriate and properly accounted for, and that the signatures appearing to be his on credit card vouchers for ‘escort services’ are forgeries.
Forensic handwriting expert Paul Westwood has examined the vouchers and says there is no evidence of this, and that he ‘would be very surprised if the signature was a forgery.’
The signatures on the license and credit card slip look identical to me:
Radio station 2Ue’s Michael Smith points out that in either case, a crime has been committed, and the police need to be called:
One – Mr Thomson did it.
Two – Someone knocked off his card, then knocked off his licence, then forged his signature. They also knocked off his phone, and used his phone from the area where he lives up the Pacific Highway, then used the phone coming down the highway to Sydney and used that phone to call the same escort agency where the knocked off credit card, forged signature and knocked off licence were presented. Then his card, his licence and his phone were returned to him without him even noticing they were missing.
Then when that $2,745 bill came in as a result of scenario two he just authorised it for payment. Didn’t ask what it was about. Didn’t investigate. It’s just $2,475 anyway.
The NSW Police must be involved in this investigation in either case. In either scenario one or two it is a clear case of fraud.
And the victims here are the poor buggers who go to work every day cleaning hospitals. It’s their union dues. And Craig Thomson was the man who signed off on the way the money was spent.
I just rang the number that appears on Craig Thomson’s mobile phone records on the night that the $2,475 was paid to Keywed Pty Ltd, trading as Sydney Room Service escort agency.
The phone was answered “Sydney Room Service.”
I said “I’m Michael Smith, I’m from 2UE and we’re doing a story on the use of credit cards for escort services. Can you tell if your clients need to show any further ID if they pay for your services with a credit card?”
The lady who didn’t want her name used said, “Yeah, if you pay with a credit card you must produce photographic ID. That’s a standard practice throughout the industry.”
I said, “Are your staff instructed to check the photographic ID against the face of the person in front of them, the person who signs the credit card voucher?”
She said, “Yes, absolutely. They know that if that’s not done they don’t get paid. It happens 100% of the time.”
The Labor Party has so far paid some $40,000 defending Mr Thomson from these allegations. If he has to resign, this will force a by-election, which Labor will lose. If Labor loses one seat, they lose government.
I’m also a bit curious – what on earth would you get for $2475 at Keywed Restaurant aka Sydney Outcalls Network?