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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Salim Mehajer convicted of multiple counts of electoral fraud in 2012 Auburn Council elections


 By court reporter Mazoe Ford

Salim Mehajer has been convicted of multiple counts of electoral fraud, with a Sydney Magistrate finding he acted in a "joint criminal enterprise" with his sister to influence the 2012 Auburn Council elections.
The former deputy mayor of Auburn is currently before Central Local Court on more than 100 charges relating to forging documents and giving false or misleading information to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).
Mehajer's sister Fatima Mehajer earlier pleaded guilty to giving false information to the AEC and will be sentenced at a later date.
During the trial, prosecutors said text messages between Fatima and Salim Mehajer showed they were communicating about the fraud.
Magistrate Beverly Schurr said the AEC became suspicious when a large number of online enrolment applications were submitted just before the deadline on July 31, 2012.
In these applications dozens of Sydneysiders had listed or changed their address to residences in Auburn.
During the trial, prosecutors said the online electoral applications were submitted without the knowledge of the people whose names appeared on them.
They alleged the applications came from computer IP addresses associated with the Mehajer family and that the siblings had exchanged numerous text messages about the fraud in the lead up to July 31.
Mehajer was elected into the Auburn Council as deputy mayor two months later.
The property developer showed up 10 minutes late to court and was dropped off by someone driving a Porsche.
Just a week ago, Mehajer walked out of Silverwater jail after being remanded for 10 weeks for perverting the course of justice for allegedly staging a car crash on his way to court last October.

The disgraced businessman won his freedom after the judge decided his continued detention was unjustified.
He is under strict bail conditions and must report twice daily to police.