10 November 2020
Paola Colangelo, 45, is accused of involvement in one of Western Australia’s biggest corruption scandals. She has pleaded not guilty to nine charges relating to the theft of $22 million from the WA Department of Communities. She is alleged to have aided sacked public service executive Paul Whyte and his associate, Jacob Anthonisz, who are accused of corruptly stealing $22 million dollars of public funds between 2008 and 2019. Paul Whyte was assistant director general of Department of Communities.
Mr. Whyte has indicated through his lawyer that he will plead guilty to some of the charges, however the case has been adjourned until mid next month so he could obtain further legal advice. His lawyer said that his client had not taken up his bail because he “wanted to assess where he’s going”. Given the fact that he will ultimately receive a jail sentence, the time he serves now in Hakea prison would come off his sentence.
Paola Colangelo worked as a bookkeeper for Jacob Anthonisz. Her charges related to a period of six months between May and November last year whereas the charges against the two men related to alleged activity spanning 11 years, from 2008 to 2019.
Today prosecutor told the Perth Magistrates Court all charges against Paola Colangelo were being discontinued because “WA police did not possess all relevant material” to allow the case to proceed to trial. He said that if conviction can be established at a later date, then the charges may be reinstated.