Vodafone investigator to front court for phone fraud; Stephen Scheeler is new Australian Facebook chief: Midday Roundup

Vodafone investigator to front court for phone fraud; Stephen Scheeler is new Australian Facebook chief: Midday Roundup

Former Vodafone investigator Wayne Hancock will appear in a NSW court today on charges related to fraud and embezzlement while he was working for the company between 2008 and 2012.

The charges, which will be heard before the Wyong Local Court in NSW today, relate to allegations Hancock distributed more than 120 mobile phones to sports players and clubs, including to the Manly Sea Eagles. The recipients were allegedly falsely told the phones were part of sponsorship deals.

After his arrest last month Hancock was charged with a total of 68 offences, including 35 counts of obtaining a benefit by deception, 28 counts of fraud, two counts of intention to defraud using a false or misleading statement and three counts of embezzlement.

Hancock’s arrest followed a two-year investigation by the NSW Police’s Fraud and Cybercrime Squad detectives.


Stephen Scheeler appointed Facebook chief in Australia/NZ


Stephen Scheeler has been appointed to as managing director for the Australian arm of Facebook, according to The Australian.

Scheeler will now head up Facebook’s operations in Australia and New Zealand after previously acting as the company’s head of retail and automotive.

Before joining Facebook, Scheeler was involved in a number of startups and held marketing and innovation roles at companies such as Subaru and Westfield.

Scheeler will report to Facebook’s vice president of the Asia Pacific region, Dan Neary.

He takes over from William Easton, who has been managing director of Facebook for Australia and New Zealand since January 2013.


Local shares fall after Wall Street woes


Local shares fell this morning on the back of unsettling falls in the Dow Jones overnight, which overshadowed positive news about China’s interest rate cuts.

Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said the news out of US markets means the Australian market, which staged a strong rally, had potentially been “wrong footed” by the move.

“The positive announcement impact of China’s interest and reserve ratio cut proved to be short lived. In many senses this is a logical reaction,” Spooner said.

“The weakness in US stocks last night also hints that the fact that this downturn is about more than just a reassessment of China’s growth outlook.”

Spooner said it has now been some time since the US stock market had a “major correction”.

“This makes it vulnerable to volatility once some large moves have started and markets are concerned that it could take some time for things to settle down.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 0.4%, falling 20.4 points to 5116.9 points at 11.35am AEST. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed down 1.29%, falling 204.9 points to 15666.4 points.


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