Former RailCorp employee Joseph Camilleri leaving ICAC. Photo: Ben RushtonThe daughter of a senior RailCorp executive who borrowed millions from friends, workmates and contractors spent the money gambling at The Star casino and in payments to an abusive friend, according to a transcript of an interview with her.
Joe Camilleri, formerly in charge of the reform of rolling stock maintenance under Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian, faces corruption charges over the loans he obtained from subordinates at RailCorp and from contractors to the organisation.
In testimony to the Independent Commission Against Corruption this week, Mr Camilleri maintained that he borrowed the money believing his daughter Jessica’s story that she was the repeat victim of identity fraud and needed the money for bank and legal fees.
Jessica Camilleri was scheduled to appear before the ICAC on Friday, but was not called. Instead, the ICAC released the transcript of an interview it conducted with her in December.
In the interview, Ms Camilleri says she said she lied to her father all along.
Instead of being the victim of identity fraud, Ms Camilleri said she was blackmailed by a friend who forced her to hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars, while she was also gambling on blackjack and poker machines.
“I had a big gambling problem,” Ms Camilleri, 26, said. “Had that for a couple of years.”
Ms Camilleri, who at one stage was working as the executive assistant to the head of the Ambulance Service, said she mostly gambled at The Star. At the casino, she would also borrow from loan sharks who lent to heavy gamblers.
“When you’re gambling a lot and you’ve got a big problem and people know that and the people around you tend to be the same … if you say, look, can you lend me 20 grand or 10 grand for a week, I’ll give you back 25 next week,” Ms Camilleri said.
The name of Ms Camilleri’s friend who allegedly started to blackmail her is redacted from the interview transcript. But this woman, on Ms Camilleri’s account, threatened to expose Ms Camilleri to her family and then started to threaten her with bikies.
“She would say that it’s for debts, that she had debts to bikies, and that if she paid protection, that people would protect her from whatever’s going on in the world,” Ms Camilleri said.
In total, Mr Camilleri extended about $4 million to his daughter, who has since quit her job at the service.
At least $1.5 million of this came from contacts at RailCorp or from contractors to RailCorp. His sister Carmen Attard, a Department of Family and Community Services employee, borrowed about $180,000 from colleagues for Ms Camilleri.
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