Man Convicted of Corruption In $1.25M Toner Cartridge Kickback Scandal Public servant Minas Frangoulis convicted of corruption for role in $1.25 million printer ink cartridge kickback scandal in 2012
Chief Court Reporter Sean Fewster, The Advertiser
MINAS Frangoulis thought he was saving the State Government money by placing a bulk order for 216 printer ink cartridges — and getting himself four iPads in the process.
Instead, he wasted more than $83,000 in taxpayer’s funds on ink for printers that were due to be phased out, leaving public servants with hundreds of useless cartridges.
On Friday, he hid behind a piece of paper after being convicted of corruption for keeping the “bonus” iPads he received during the $1.25 million cartridge kickback scandal of 2012.
The Adelaide Magistrates Court said Frangoulis’ otherwise blameless life could not excuse his “poorly thought-out purchase” and its financial consequences.
“A significant amount of money was wasted … I am disturbed by the waste (which) this state, it seems, cannot afford,” Magistrate Ian White said in sentencing.
“The spectre of receiving gifts from contractors when holding a senior public service position (makes) general deterrence (to others) a very important part of your sentence.”
Frangoulis, 60, of Eden Hills, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to act honestly while working as a public sector employee.
In 2011, while working as a records and resources officer for the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division, he ordered the cartridges.
Minas Frangoulis outside the Adelaide Magistrates Court.
The seller, Universal Cartridges, then sent him four iPads as an incentive which he kept, telling his bosses he received only one device.
Frangoulis’ conduct formed part of $1.25 million spent on cartridges over that period, which prompted a Crown Solicitors Office investigation, suspensions and sackings.
Previously, the court was told Frangoulis’ actions were actually of benefit to taxpayers because the cartridges he purchased would last 10 times longer than other brands.
On Friday, however, the court heard police had since learned the cartridges “were now useless” because the printers for which they were designed were phased out in 2012.
Mr White said Frangoulis was not to be punished for that, but he was “sure the Division could have put that money to greater use”.
He rejected defence counsel’s request a conviction not be recorded, saying the offending was too serious for anything other than a prison term.
However, he said there was good reason to suspend that sentence.
“You had been a public servant for 40 years … you no doubt feel shamed by this whole matter … this whole situation is a dark shadow on your career,” he said.
“You are now retired … I do find that you are unlikely to commit any offence again.”
Mr White jailed Frangoulis for 14 days, but suspended that term on condition of a two-year, $1000 good behaviour bond.