CRAIG THOMSON FRONTS COURT ON 154 CHARGES – Thursday February 7 2013

– Tiffany’s Girls claims to be Sydney’s best brothel. It is also one of the establishments where police claim former federal Labor MP Craig Thomson used a Health Services Union credit card to pay for prostitutes.

Thomson, 48, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday to face 154 fraud and theft charges after his arrest last week at his New South Wales Central Coast office.

He is accused of using the HSU credit cards to pay for sexual services at Tiffany’s Girls, Boardroom Escorts, A Touch of Class, Keywed Pty Ltd (a company allegedly linked to the escort agency Sydney Outcalls Network) and Aboutoun Catering (listed as an escort service).

The amount paid at the Sydney brothels and escort agencies totalled more than $5600 between March 2003 and August 2007.

Thomson is also charged with using union credit cards to spend more than $40,000 on in-house R-rated pornographic movies at hotels; food and drinks; cigarettes; flights; car hire; petrol; taxis; valet parking; cash withdrawals; and hotel rooms.

The father-of-two has consistently denied any wrongdoing and vowed to vigorously defend the charges against him.

Defence lawyer Bill Dwyer told the court on Wednesday that Thomson was concerned at the way he had been brought to the court.

Mr Dwyer said Mr Thomson had been ordered to appear in Melbourne at short notice and he’s anxious to get these matters resolved.

He asked the court for a witness list to be provided to his client but the prosecution said it was not available.

Magistrate Donna Bakos ordered Thomson to appear again on May 22nd for a committal mention.

A 20-volume police brief of evidence was expected to be sent to Thomson’s legal team by April 17th.

Ms Bakos varied Thomson’s bail to include a provision that he not contact any employees of a number of businesses, including one which operated the Touch of Class brothel in Sydney.

Outside court after the hearing, a defiant Thomson stood with his wife, Zoe, in front of a large media pack and criticised the police handling of the case.

He said he wanted to clear his name as quickly as possible and was disappointed that police could not provide a witness list for a case they had been investigating for more than 18 months.

The charges against Thomson followed a Victorian Police fraud investigation into the finances of the Health Services Union.

Thomson, the member for Dobell who was suspended from the Labor Party early last year over the allegations, was the union’s national secretary from 2002 until his election to Federal Parliament in December 2007. Court documents state that the alleged offences occurred between December 2002 and April 2008.

Thomson is still being investigated by NSW police in relation to Strike Force Carnarvon, looking into alleged fraud in the NSW branch of the HSU – Mark Russell

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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