STRANGER THAN FACTION: Socratous publicly admits theft and rorts, now won't co-operate with probe

costassocratousjosietaylor The Age’s latest incredible tale of ALP branch-stacking appears to have flopped in record time.

Costas Socratous, despite apparently admitting to the newspaper that he stole tens of thousands of dollars from the ALP and rorted its internal procedures, is now unwilling to co-operate with an ALP investigation.

Funny that.

Instead the self-confessed thief wants to be probed by the feisty cardigan-wearers at the Ombudsman’s office. Socratous, of course, knows the Ombo’s staff well from his time on the Brimbank council where he was an informant. He was dead keen on presenting for an interview with the ABC’s Josie Taylor, who is the daughter of the Deputy Ombudsman and ex-cop John Taylor. He clumsily read out awkward lines that had the feel of being fed to him by the reporter like “Yes, I created a branch-stacking empire.” These are not words commonly used in ALP parlance, even by the most immodest of warlords, they reeked of being spoon-fed to him.

It was an embarrassing effort even for Taylor who continues to report on Victorian politics and matters relating to the Ombudsman despite a serious conflict of interest.

Of course, the Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over incidents of theft nor over electorate officers generally as employees of the Victorian Parliament. No doubt when the Ombudsman comes back and says so, the Liberals will say that supports their argument for replacing the Ombudsman with a politician-hunting anti-corruption commission with public show-trials and such. An election year stunt, to be sure.

But beyond the political shadow-boxing, the one law enforcement agency to which Socratous should be accountable is Victoria Police.

His self-confessed crimes are not political. Theft is theft, regardless of what he says he spent the stolen money on.

At this point, the apparent victim of Socratous’s crimes, the ALP, is trying to make sense of what he’s claimed in the Age.

And, surprise, surprise, when their state secretary Nick Reece phones the man to ask him to provide the same information he’s told the newspaper, Socratous suddenly refuses to co-operate.

Keen to ensure the obviously dishonest Socratous wasn’t setting him up by denying his refusal, Reece even wrote to him making it clear he’s keen to hear his claims and admissions so they can be properly investigated.

No reply.

And there’ll never be a reply other than a smoke-screen.

He’s wanted to get revenge without actually being accountable for his own admissions of wrongdoing.

VEXNEWS understands that all of this has been enough to give even those in command at The Age very serious reservations about Socratous’s story. You can hardly blame them.

The day after his front-page claims and admissions, we have the extraordinary situation of a self-confessed thief admitting his wrong-doing publicly but refusing to tell the victim of his crimes exactly what he’s done.

So perhaps Socratous will do the decent thing and report himself to Victoria Police so he can be charged for the crimes of theft he’s already admitted.

The ALP can conduct its own investigation into its own bank accounts and branch membership. It could even complain to the Police about Socratous once they establish whether he’s really done what he’s says he’s done.

But if Socratous is to be believed he must truly account for his admitted acts of theft, false accounting and even money laundering, as he puts it. He should immediately return the stolen funds, which he says amounts to tens of thousands of dollars, to the ALP. He should also present to his nearest Victoria Police station to confess to them in the legally appropriate way.

The Age and Socratous and even the Liberals David Davis seem to misunderstand the dimensions of what’s gone on here.

We can only hope that speculation around Spring Street that Socratous went to the Liberals to discuss a financial incentive for coming forward is not correct. While David Davis admitted yesterday that Liberals – believed to include Baillieu COS Michael Kapel – met with Socratous, it’s not certain what they discussed and why it took so long between their meeting and yesterday’s report. “Perhaps the details of a financial arrangement were being concluded,” one Liberal speculated to VEXNEWS yesterday.

There has been widespread reporting of his branch-stacking claims but Socratous’s admission of theft has barely got any attention at all. In the twisted perversity of the banal inner-city left at The Age and ABC, branch-stacking is a vastly greater act of wrong-doing than theft.

Socratous’s branch-stacking allegations will be considered by the ALP. But that’s only half the story with this bloke. He’s stolen money, by his own admission. The Parliament has heard claims that he is a gambling addict who has been pursuing enormous payouts from WorkCover and so on.

Socratous seems not to get it. He told the Deputy Ombudsman’s daughter Josie Taylor on the ABC that he “has nothing to fear” yet he is admitting systematic acts of theft. It’s deeply puzzling. It’s hard to imagine this man has competent legal advice.

Before The Age and ABC invest too much in this man– the only outlets enthusiastically reporting Socratous’s claims – they’d do well consider that there is no branch-stacking defence to theft charges.

These stories tend to go nowhere. It is well understood that they are timed for political effect.

But in this case, we hope Costas Socratous is brought to justice. By his own admission, he belongs in jail.



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13 responses to “STRANGER THAN FACTION: Socratous publicly admits theft and rorts, now won't co-operate with probe

  1. the Unions are the real stacks

    Shame of Josie Taylor after the mess she stirred up during the Brimbank report,
    Daddies little angel is at it again. Socratous is a aggressive thug and rumor has been for a while that he was a paid member of the Greek terrorist organisation Euroka. It would be wise to go right through his bank accounts.

  2. Anonymous

    we demand pre selections in all seats!!!

  3. Anonymous

    Imagine not wanting to co-operate with an ALP investigation into the ALP.

  4. Joe

    take the matter to the police… thats where it belongs

  5. Anonymous

    Stop trying to defend the indefensible

  6. Cost Us

    Me think it ‘mazing!

    How suddenly the SunRRacists, the cynical Greens political machine and all the otherwise unemployable trots in the media are suddenly elevating this moronic, indolent, breathtakingly incompetent self-confessed branch stacker, and person of dubious integrity to folk hero status.

    The whole thing says more about them than it says about CostUs.

  7. Nelson Tornesi

    Costas Socrates where is the money from the Ultima Receptions Fundraiser in 2005? It was suppose to go to renewals of members …. but I thinks they went somewhere else, didnt it?

    mmmmmm ???? Like to comment ???

  8. Head scratching

    Why is there so many lying, thieving, gambling addicts with mental health problems in the ALP?

  9. Sackratos

    He obviously forgot what he did for Marlene Karouiz standing at the door getting his greek members to vote the way he wanted today he says this….

    Sacratos said”(Then) I realised that these people were after power, but it was too late for me to stop.”

    He admitted that through his own allegations he too was therefore involved in fraud.

  10. the Unions are the real stacks

    lock the fraudster up, this is worse then Christopher Skase.

  11. Now the corruption is laid bare for all to see. Roll on a commission of inquiry in to the most corrupt group around.


    Australias lazy party ALP is terminal
    why is anyone ever ever surprised by all of this!
    its par for the course!
    now wonder the ALP like Tiger Woods
    well look who is good at cheating
    like attracts like!

  13. anonimous

    I feel sick just reading all this bulshit, everybody is throwing rocks everywhere like stupids, as cristal clear a proper investigation has to be done with no interferences, Julia has a lot to say in all this mess.

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