As foreshadowed in Crikey Daily last Thursday, Steve Vizard’s
former bookkeeper Roy Hilliard has done a deal with Victorian
prosecutors and pleaded guilty to 14 counts of false accounting when he
was previously facing 198 theft charges, as the wires are reporting here.

The five year saga is being played out in the Victorian County Court
today and ABC radio reported at midday that prosecutors had revealed
the plea-bargain was done because Vizard was refusing to give evidence
on the grounds of self-incrimination. It has also been reported that
Vizard’s evidence would be much diminished now that he’s effectively
admitted to insider trading and perjury, albeit in a way that will keep
him out of jail.

Hilliard’s counsel has denied that he stole $3 million as prosecutors
allege and Westpac have made good for $2 million of the losses, so
Vizard’s appetite for continuing his action was much diminished,
especially when Hilliard dropped the proverbial bucket with his insider
trading allegations.

There’s no sign that Hilliard has anything left from his brush with
the former funny man as he now lives in a small flat in the Victorian
country town of Castlemaine. Vizard, meanwhile, is a free man who is
worth an estimated $15-20 million.

Peter Fray

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