Ex-Reserve Bank company manager avoids jail for false accounting

A former middle manager caught up in a "shameful deceit" linked to an overseas business deal for printing bank notes avoids jail time after admitting to false accounting.

Victoria's Supreme Court heard Clifford Gerathy's long Reserve Bank career was ruined after becoming a "minor player" in Securency's efforts to secure overseas work.

The company, later sold by the RBA and now known as CCL Secure, makes the plastic base for Australian and foreign banknotes.

Justice Kevin Bell said Gerathy acted on the orders of senior managers in July 2006 by telling agent Abdul Kayum to produce a fake expense claim for $79,502.

Mr Kayum had been helping Securency to arrange business with the Central Bank of Malaysia, also known as Bank Negara Malaysia.

Gerathy told the court he knew Mr Kayum was not owed the money for expenses but it had been promised by Securency as a commission.

He was charged with false accounting after police started looking into illegal activity by Securency and RBA subsidiary Note Printing Australia.

The 67-year-old pleaded guilty to false accounting last month.

Justice Bell said other Securency employees faced "very serious" charges in relation to the investigation that had not yet been dealt with.

"As I have emphasised and will again, Mr Gerathy does not come into this category at all."

"Mr Gerathy implemented this shameful deceit… [but] the decision to pay the money upon this false basis was made by senior management."

He said Gerathy was sacked by Securency in 2010 after 40 years of RBA service and finding other work had "proved to be impossible".

"The picture presented is of a good man in every aspect of his life who has made one bad mistake that is completely out of character, and that is my judicial assessment."

He said Gerathy had been an upstanding member of the community before the case "brought personal shame and public humiliation."

The charge of false accounting carries a maximum penalty of 10 years' jail.

But Justice Bell said in the circumstances a three-month suspended sentence provided "adequate denunciation".

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