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Who says scientists don’t do it to get rich? Queensland climate expert in court over $500k in false expenses

Dr Daniel Michael Alongi, 59, is accused of taking over half a million dollars in federal funds over the last seven years. The carbon sequestration, mangrove, reef, eco-expert has admitted he made false invoices to claim federal funds (Courier Mail, paywalled). He is in court on Jan 18th. The alleged sum is the rather impressive $556,000.  His superannuation of $900k, and $80k in long service leave, has been frozen. (Nice work… )

I’m glad his financial accounts are being audited. But far more public money is potentially “hijacked” thanks to scientific accounts, let’s start auditing them too. When people claim a nation has warmed by 0.9 degrees we want the original receipts, not the ones they readjusted (and we need independent auditors and systematic methods, not “secret instructions”).

“The Science” has become “the loophole” where nearly any friend of big gov can get a hand in the treasury-bag.

There are reasons you aren’t allowed to pal review your tax return.

[Courier Mail] Alongi, who was well regarded in the science industry, allegedly pretended he was paying for “radioisotopes” imported from the US and to have samples analysed in US laboratories for his Great Barrier Reef research.

He told his boss he could “get a discount” on isotopes because he was a US citizen, and he claimed he was measuring carbon levels in “sediment core samples” taken from the Reef.

He has admitted to police that he made false invoices, credit card statements and created fake email trails to claim expenses over seven years, court documents state …

More info from The Townsville Bulletin Sept 15th.

He was charged with obtaining a financial advantage from a Commonwealth entity, namely AIMS, by deception.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

He has also been charged with one count of dealing with the proceeds of crime worth $100,000 or more which carries a maximum term of 20 years behind bars.

His LinkedIn account lists his position as the Senior Principal Research Scientist at AIMS but his name has since been removed from the online AIMS staff register.

h/t To Pat, to Jim Simpson, and to Tim Blair.

Note to commenters: Take care, these are mostly alleged offences. No trial yet.

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