Former RivMed chief executive in Wagga Selena Lyons pleads not guilty to 28 fraud charges

THE sacked chief executive officer of the Riverina Medical and Dental Aboriginal Corporation (RivMed), Selena Lyons, has pleaded not guilty to 28 fraud charges.

Lyons entered the pleas through solicitor David Barron in Wagga Local Court on Wednesday.

The accused woman sat behind Mr Barron during the proceedings, which took only about a minute.

Police prosecutor, Sergeant Priscilla Jones, represented the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for the first mention.

Noting a lot of material for the prosecution’s brief of evidence had been gathered already, Sergeant Jones asked for four weeks, instead of the usual six weeks, for the brief to be completed.

Magistrate Michael Crompton adjourned the case until October 26 for Mr Barron to reply to the brief.

The prosecution of Lyons follows an investigation by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.

The registrar alleges that on 28 separate occasions Lyons knowingly received corporation funds totalling $28,048 to which she was not entitled.

It is alleged that on 27 occasions between October 14, 2011, and April 17, 2014, Lyons authorised payment of travel or accommodation allowances for days she was not travelling for work purposes, or another organisation had already paid for her travel, accommodation and meals.

The registrar also alleges that on October 29, 2012, Lyons misused the corporation’s credit card by making an unauthorised purchase.

The charges against Lyons carry a maximum penalty of between $220,000 and $340,000, or imprisonment of five years, or both, the registrar says.

Lyons was charged in August.

RivMed, incorporated in 1988, provides medical and dental care to Indigenous Australians in and around Wagga.

Lyons was appointed CEO of the organisation in March, 2010. She was stood down in May, 2014, and her employment was terminated in October that year.

 Lyons has worked in management roles in Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and government agencies for 25 years.

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