ClubsNSW Seeks Court Order to Gag Whistleblower

ClubsNSW is growing increasinly desperate to stop a whistleblower in his tracks

ClubsNSW is heading to court in an attempt to gag a whistleblower. ClubsNSW wants to legally prevent Troy Stolz from speaking to the public about money laundering through the state’s pokies.

Stolz is a former ClubsNSW anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing manager. Stolz blew the whistle last year, claiming little to nothing is done to prevent money laundering through pokies housed in New South Wales’ pubs and clubs.

ClubsNSW and Stolz have traded blows for several months, but no actual legal action has taken place. Stolz claims to be financially ruined but refuses to stay quiet because he wants the public to know the truth.

Stolz sold his house and set aside $150,000 to help finance his fight against the lobby group. ClubsNSW must be worried about the revelations because they have attempted to gag Stolz.

First, they threatened journalists from the ABC and Sydney Morning Herald to hand over documents Stolz provided. Stolz called the move a disgrace and promised to soldier on.

“It’s a public interest matter that affects all communities. It’s a national security issue. They are trying to silence the media from reporting the truth.”

ClubsNSW Demands Stolz Stops Crowdfunding Efforts

Legal battles are costly affairs with the only real people who benefit are solicitors and lawyers on fat salaries. Stolz sold his home to help fund his fight, but the $150,000 he set aside may not be enough.

He created an appeal on the popular crowdfunding site GoFundMe to help with legal and living costs. Well-wishers had donated almost $3,5000 by the time ClubsNSW stamped its feet and demanded a stop to the crowdfunding effort.

ClubsNSW claim Stolz is misleading the public and trying to embezzle funds from them.

“In light of its misleading contents, it is unconscionable for Mr Stolz to maintain the Campaign Page in order to solicit funds from the general public.”

Stolz responded with his side of the argument.

“Not only are they suing me in the federal court, but they have also previously demanded that I put $150,000 aside from the sale of my house to pay their legal costs and now they want to deprive my supporters of the opportunity to help me through the GoFundMe page.”

However, the page is still active and currently has $15,121 worth of pledged donations.

Stolz About To Be Hit With Gagging Order

The documents at the heart of this long wrangling feud claim only 5-10% of NSW pubs and clubs adhere to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism. ClubsNSW does not want those documents in the public domain. It is doing everything in its power to prevent that from happening.

The lobby group on Thursday launched its latest bid to prevent Stolz from speaking. It essentially wants a court to gag Stolz, legally preventing him from talking to anyone about his claims. The order, if granted, prevents Stolz from publishing his findings.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie is one recipient of the documentation. The court has already ordered Wilkie to hand back the documents, but he is refusing. Wilkie claims correspondence between a constituent and an MP is protected by parliamentary privilege.

“It is obviously important that the House protects itself against all acts or omissions which obstruct or impede the House in the performance of its functions, which is why I ask you to consider giving precedence to a motion to refer to the committee of privileges and members interests whether the parliament should intervene in this case to protect privilege.”

Stolz is counter-suing ClubsNSW for alleged breaches of the Fair Work Act. The lobby group claims it has no choice but to sue Stolz for breaching its confidence.

The case continues rumbling on, and will keep an ear to the ground for any developments.