26 March 2024

Former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire to face a criminal trial over conspiracy charge

| Chris Roe
Daryl McGuire

Former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire is alleged to have conspired with a migration agent to commit visa fraud. He has pleaded not guilty. Photo: File.

Disgraced former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire is set to face a criminal trial over allegations he conspired to commit visa fraud.

He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit an offence in 2022 and the case was committed for trial in the District Court during a hearing at Sydney’s Downing Centre today (26 March).

It is alleged that Mr Maguire conspired with migration agent Maggie Logan to provide “documents in connection with applications for visas permitting non-citizens to remain in Australia”.

READ ALSO Wagga’s reputation tarnished by ICAC’s findings on Maguire’s ‘dodgy’ deals

Mr Maguire appeared via video link and his lawyer, Jim Harrowell AM, entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf.

Mr Maguire had served as Wagga’s MP since 1999 before being forced to quit in 2018 after admitting to a corruption inquiry that he had sought commissions while brokering property deals with a Chinese developer.

In July of last year, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) released the 700-page Operation Keppel report that detailed a string of questionable business dealings with developers and Chinese business interests.

It also examined grants awarded to the electorate during his undeclared relationship with Gladys Berejiklian while she was the NSW Treasurer and then Premier.

READ ALSO Neo-Nazi letterbox drop in Wagga calls for ‘white Australian’ recruits

It is alleged that the “cash-for-visas” scheme ran between 2012 and 2015 and Riverina business owners were paid in cash to sponsor Chinese nationals.

The corruption watchdog report alleged that “almost without exception, none of the Chinese nationals ever worked in the Wagga Wagga businesses as the legislation providing for such visas required”.

The former Liberal MP faces prison time or a maximum fine of $34,000.

The matter is listed for arraignment on 26 April.

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