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Former charity head faces ICAC

Previous Australian of the Year nominee accused of using charity money for personal use.

Former Australian of the year state finalist Eman Sharobeem gave evidence at a Sydney corruption inquiry for a fourth day over allegations she used charity funds for personal expenses.

Sharobeem reappeared at the NSW corruption watchdog on Friday accused of rorting more than half a million dollars in public funds during her time as the chief executive officer of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service and the Non-English Speaking Housing Women’s Scheme.

The inquiry previously heard that she spent thousands of dollars of charity money on gifts for politicians and that the only proof of her doctorate was destroyed in the Arab Spring. She also claimed she’d been framed.

On Thursday she told the inquiry she was too “consumed by helping people” to notice if the charity was paying her expenses or not.

Sharobeem has also told the Independent Commission Against Corruption she mistakenly gave a western Sydney car dealer an $18,000 cheque from the Immigrant Women’s Health Service, instead of her personal bank account.

The confusion arose when her husband, Haiman Hammo, impulsively bought a $35,000 used Mercedes Benz hatchback while the pair was shopping for two cars for the two health services she was running, she said on Friday.

However, the $18,000 cheque was made out on December 28, 2014 – the day before Sharobeem said they first went to the car dealership.

She made out another cheque on December 29 for $18,695 to buy an IWHS car from another dealer.

In emails shown to the commission, Sharobeem told an auditor she would refund the amount to IWHS.

But after looking over her bank statements, counsel assisting ICAC Ramesh Rajalingam said he couldn’t find an $18,000 withdrawal from that time.

Sharobeem fired up over accusations she blamed the bookkeeper for the mistake in an email.

SMH also reported that Sharobeem used charity money for cosmetic treatment.

The inquiry is expected to end in the middle of June.

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