GUFC Media Release

MEDIA RELEASE

GUFC confirms guilty verdict.

After four years of investigations, police action and multiple court cases, the ACT Magistrates Court has found former Gungahlin United Football Club (GUFC) President, Aaron Alexander, guilty of theft.

The GUFC Executive and club volunteers initiated an investigation in early 2018 after identifying several red flags. The then president Mr Aaron Alexander was terminated from the club by members of the GUFC Executive and the matter reported to police.

The Club assisted police with their investigation over 18 months, where it was alleged Mr Alexander obtained over $112,000 of club funds by deception. He was arrested in February 2020 on 108 counts of “obtaining property by deception”.

Cash withdrawals, electronic bank transfers, unusual purchases and the hidden lease of a Land Rover Defender were among the charges. The Land Rover Defender was confiscated by police as a criminal asset.

During early court proceedings, on advice of the Magistrate, “obtaining property by deception” charges were dropped and replaced with “theft” which carries the same penalty.

The theft of Club funds left the Club in debt and unable to make scheduled payments to external parties which resulted in the National Premier League First Grade Men being penalised six competition points at the start of the 2019 premiership season.

While the financial loss has had ongoing impacts on the Club and GUFC volunteers, the ongoing and current Executive have continued to work tirelessly to reduce the shortfall caused by the theft.

On Friday 26 August 2022, the former president was found guilty of the majority of theft charges, with the exception of four cash withdrawals and one electronic bank transfer. Mr Alexander remains on bail until sentencing which will take place on 13 October 2022.

“It’s been a long time coming, with the flow on effects to our finances still being felt and the stress placed on many of our volunteers still evident, but rest assured the Club is united in its efforts to continue to grow and recover through this considerable challenge,” says GUFC President, Mr Neil Harlock.

“Mr Alexander went to great lengths to cover his tracks during the period of the theft, and it wasn’t easy to uncover the extent of his deception, but due to the incredible commitment of many we’ve been able to see some justice.”

“We continue to work through our options, both legally and financially. As we move forward it will be football as usual.”

GUFC would like to commend the work of ACT Police and to those who have spent considerable time pursuing this case on behalf of all members.

If any Club feels they may be experiencing something similar, members of GUFC have offered to talk through this experience in the hope they can help others ensure they are safe from such criminal activities.

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