The Steelers club has parted ways with its general manager amid allegations of fraud involving “a substantial” amount of money, the Mercury can reveal.
Scott Miles left the club under a cloud in late-January, following an audit in preparation for the club’s annual report.
Mr Miles was either let go or he resigned – the club won’t say which – after an auditor sought an explanation for an anomaly in the accounts.
The club has commissioned a forensic accountant from Alexandria-based firm Procare Group to probe the books, and the matter has been referred to Wollongong Police.
Mr Miles, who has not responded to the Mercury’s calls for comment, came to the club as a gaming manager in 2004.
He was made general manager the following year, according to his LinkedIn profile, and had spent 12 years in the senior role before his January departure.
Wollongong Local Area Command crime manager, Inspector Brad Ainsworth, confirmed the matter had been referred to police.
The allegations centred around a large sum of money, he said.
“I can’t put a numerical figure on it. It’s a substantial amount of money,” he said.
"A complaint has been made in relation to an allegation of fraud - internal fraud.
“We're just awaiting the results of an internal forensic investigation and then we'll take the matter up again.
“The forensic accountant will, through [their] investigation, be able to work out how long it's been going for.”
The Steelers, the revenue-generating arm of the Illawarra District Rugby League Football Club, recorded revenue of more than $7 million in 2015 and finished the year with almost $60,000 net profit.
The club’s annual general meeting had been postponed in light of the investigation, said Steelers chairman Peter Newell.
Mr Newell would not be drawn on details of the allegations.
“I can't, until the investigation is complete and a report is made to the club,” he said.
“It's only reasonably early days. We want [the report] as soon as we can but we want it to be thorough and professional - it will take as long as it takes.”
“They (the forensic accountant) will start with recent years and work their way back as they see fit.”
Mr Newell said the investigation would not affect the club’s sponsorship commitments.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “In coming day the Steelers hope to announce a raft of sponsorships for local league competitions including juniors, seniors league and the women’s league.”