Ruttley staff face more charges over 'fuel scam'

Former Ruttley Freightlines employees charged with a combined 170 counts of theft over alleged fuel card scam

Ruttley staff face more charges over 'fuel scam'
Ruttley employees face more charges over fuel scam
By Brad Gardner | October 7, 2009

Former Ruttley Freightlines employees have been charged with a combined 170 counts of theft for allegedly stealing fuel from their employer.

Victoria’s Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) has increased the charges for Peter Howarth and Robb Morrison from one count of theft each to 85 as a result of ongoing investigations into an alleged fuel card scam.

Police allege Howarth and Morrison gave a company fuel card to sub-contractors Laurie Jones and Brett Smith to use despite the fact both drivers did not work for Ruttley’s.

Detective Senior Constable Greg Teesdale alleges $44,000 in fuel was stolen from Ruttley’s between July, 2008 and May this year.

Morrison is facing Melbourne Magistrates Court today, while Howarth and Jones will appear tomorrow.

Jones has been charged with 43 counts of theft, while Smith has also been charged.

Police are still combing through company records and Teesdale says it is possible more people may face court.

"There are other people being looked at but no charges have been laid yet," he says.

The court case was originally scheduled to be held on September 7 but was adjourned.

Ruttley Freightlines, which operates interstate, has about 130 prime movers, while owner Bob Ruttley says his company spends more than $3 million a month on fuel.

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