Fraud Charges Dropped Against Street Swags Founder
20 December 2017 at 12:14 pm
Police have dropped seven fraud charges against Street Swags founder Jean Madden, who had been accused of misappropriating funds from the charity.
The former Queensland Young Australian of the Year was charged in July 2016 with one count of dishonestly causing detriment to the charity, with a further eight charges laid against her earlier this year including six counts of fraud, one count of falsifying record and one count of attempted fraud.
However the director of public prosecutions withdrew seven charges on Monday due to lack of evidence.
Madden, who was not required to appear in Brisbane’s Magistrates Court on Monday, is still facing two charges, which will be referred back to the Police Prosecutions Unit.
According to media reports, her lawyer Kris Jahnke said Madden would fight to clear her name.
“My client maintains her innocence and the remaining two charges will be vigorously defended,” Jahnke was quoted in The Courier-Mail.
Madden, who founded Street Swags, which provides lightweight and waterproof sleeping bags for the homeless, in 2010, posted a video on Facebook labelling the seven charges as “malicious and downright stupid”.
“After a two year witch hunt, an incredible amount of accusations and defamations slung at me, today seven malicious and downright stupid charges against me have been dropped,” Madden said.
“The faceless men behind this destruction of my life and the good that I created in the world still haven’t found anything on me, because I’ve never done anything wrong.”
Her case will return to court for a summary call over on 17 January.