ClubsNSW Whistleblower Suffers in Court


Troy Stolz, a whistleblower who exposed sub-standard enforcement of anti-money laundering laws, is now facing a legal bill worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. This comes on the heels of a recent court case pitting Stolz against his former employer, ClubsNSW.

Blowing the Whistle

Stolz formerly worked as a compliance auditor for ClubsNSW. Over time, he became increasingly frustrated with his employer’s failure to adhere to laws designed to combat money laundering and terrorism.

That’s when he became a whistleblower, approaching reporters from both ABC and The Sydney Morning Herald. He also provided internal documents to politician Andrew Wilkie, showing that up to 95% of NSW clubs didn’t comply with existing laws.

Taking It to Court

Since then, both sides have taken legal action. Stolz is suing ClubsNSW for wrongful dismissal. Meanwhile, his former employer claims that he breached the confidentiality clause in his contract.

Based on recent court rulings, it looks as though the reporters Stolz interacted with may be forced to hand over their correspondence with him. In addition, Stolz has been ordered to pay the court costs for ClubsNSW.

Tough Times for Mr. Stolz

According to Stolz, his legal bill is now in the $600,000 range. While still determined to fight, he’s also being forced to make personal sacrifices in order to continue.

I’ve got to tell my kids, and my 19-year-old son with autism, that we’ve got to sell the house to keep fighting this,” Stolz said.

“They want to use the court system to run me out of money. They’re using ClubsNSW money against me, which is meant to be for the betterment of the industry.

“I never thought I’d have to sell my house for reporting criminal activity in clubs. I feel like I’m on my own.”

Official logo for ClubsNSW

ClubsNSW Isn’t Backing Down

For their part, ClubsNSW intends to stand by the court’s ruling, and they expect their former employee to comply.

In a recent statement, a spokesperson for ClubsNSW said, “Mr. Stolz has claimed that he is entitled to whistleblower protections in these proceedings. However, in ClubsNSW’s view, he has not made any whistleblowing disclosures under the law. Mr. Stolz has admitted to providing USBs filled with these files to multiple third parties, which in ClubsNSW’s view breached the terms of his employment and his obligations as an employee.”

The company then proceeded to boast about the outcome, saying it had won on every point in the recent judgment. To add salt to the wound, they even mentioned that the judge in charge of the case referred to some of Stolz’s claims as “ludicrous.”

“The court also made an order that Mr. and Mrs. Stolz pay ClubsNSW’s legal costs, and the organization intends to enforce this order.”

Future Aid for Whistleblowers

The Human Rights Law Centre has announced that it’s in the formative stages of setting up a legal service to help protect whistleblowers.

According to HRLC lawyer Kieran Pender, “Thanks to courageous individuals, we know about misconduct in our parliament, in our banks, at our government agencies and in our military. But Australia’s whistleblowers are suffering. Eighty percent of those who speak up suffer workplace retaliation. Some of Australia’s most high-profile whistleblowers are currently facing jail time for doing the right thing.”

Would He Do It All Over Again?

Even though he faces both personal and professional obstacles, Stolz remains resolute that he did the right thing. In fact, he claims that he would do it all over again.

In an interview with Guardian Australia, Stolz said, “I never anticipated I would be financially and reputationally ruined by reporting a crime to my employer, Asic and politicians. It is a public interest matter, and, due to affording criminals the opportunity to use NSW Clubs pokies as a vehicle to launder money obtained through organized crime, it’s a matter of national security.

I would have still done it, regardless of the damage to my health, family and financially. The public, the community deserve better.”