Michael Certoma Disqualified For Fraudulent Business Transactions

Offences:

GAR 86 (d):
A person shall be guilty of an offence if the person being an owner, trainer, attendant or person having official duties in relation to greyhound racing, makes a false or misleading statement in relation to an investigation, examination, test or inquiry, or makes or causes to be made a falsification in a document in connection with greyhound racing or the registration of a greyhound.

GAR 86 (o)
A person shall be guilty of an offence if the person has, in relation to a greyhound or greyhound racing, done a thing, or omitted to do a thing, which, in the opinion of the Stewards or the Controlling Body, as the case may be, is negligent, dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent or improper, or constitutes misconduct;

Report:

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) stewards have concluded an inquiry into alleged fraudulent business transactions between registered participant Michael Certoma and Angela Meimetis from South Australia.

After receiving a complaint from Ms Meimetis, GRNSW commenced investigations into advertisements and alleged fraudulent transactions initiated by Mr Certoma over a period of time around June 2013.

During a recorded interview between Mr Certoma and GRNSW Investigator William Beekman, Mr Certoma recanted his initial denials of any wrongdoing. He subsequently made full admissions that he had acted fraudulently in seven greyhound related transactions with Ms Meimetis, obtaining money by deception.

Mr Certoma was charged with a breach of GAR 86 (d) in that he gave false and misleading evidence in relation to an inquiry, and also with a breach of GAR 86 (o) for fraudulent conduct. Mr Certoma was found guilty of both charges.

Mr Certoma was disqualified for a period of 12 months with regards to the breach of 86 (d), and for a period of five years for the breach of 86 (o), with both periods to be served concurrently, expiring on 11 September 2019.

In determining penalty, stewards took into consideration the nature of the offences, lack of contrition by Mr Certoma, initial denial of guilt, the poor image these matters have portrayed for the industry, previous penalties imposed for such breaches, and general deterrence for similar behaviour.

Mr Certoma was advised of his right of appeal.