Qld Racing fraudster avoids jail
A former Queensland Racing manager who rorted the tendering process by feeding "inside information" about racetrack upgrades to a businessman has walked from court.
William Alan Shuck, 55, faced Brisbane District Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud that he committed while working as infrastructure operations manager for Queensland Racing between 2014 and 2015.
The court heard that Shuck gave Wayne Francis Innes "inside information" about project budgets and forwarded competitors' quotes so the businessman could secure work for his earthmoving business Landfill Logistics.
Prosecutor Sam Bain said this information helped Innes secure a $176,000 contract to renovate the Gympie racetrack and another contract to upgrade Brisbane's Eagle Farm.
The court heard that Shuck told Innes he could "quote as close as he liked to the $100,000 and still get the job" on the Eagle Farm redevelopment.
Mr Bain said Shuck also supplied Innes with details about upgrades for the Redcliffe Harness Racing Club and forwarded competitors' quotes for a redevelopment at Kilcoy racetrack asking: "do you want to revise this quote?"
Mr Bain said while Innes was not successful in these tenders, the information still gave him a competitive advantage.
The pair were charged in 2017 as part of the Crime and Corruption Commission's Operation Yardage, which investigated the fraudulent contracts.
Innes served 12 months of a four-year sentence behind bars after pleading guilty to fraudulent dealings with both Racing Queensland and Ipswich City Council.
Mr Bain said while Innes was the "corrupter", Shuck was in a significant position of trust.
The court heard he had been seconded by Queensland Racing in December 2013 after working for the Brisbane Racing Club as a racecourse manager at Eagle Farm for 33 years - a position that his father had held before him.
Barrister Jeffrey Hunter QC said Shuck had not received any kickback from his dealings and had given the information to Innes because the company was known for quality work that delivered "safely, on time and on budget".
"So he thought that by doing what he did, he was ensuring … that the work was done in that manner," Mr Hunter said.
Mr Hunter told the court there was a "world of difference" between Innes's offending Shuck's.
"Importantly unlike Innes he did not benefit substantially, and he wasn't motivated by greed," Mr Hunt said.
"Rather he was motivated by a misguided sense of altruism."
Judge Julie Dick said Shuck had been naive and had enjoyed that it had given him a "friendship with Innes".
She said their dealings had given Innes a "considerable advantage in the tender process and subverted the proper commercial tender process".
"At the end of the day other people who tender have taken a lot of trouble … and they don't know they're walking into an unfair fight," she said.
"It's the commercial disadvantage to them that's at the heart of this."
Shuck was sentenced to two years' jail, wholly suspended for three years.
Originally published as Qld Racing fraudster avoids jail