Former Victoria Liberal Party state director Damien Mantach has pleaded guilty to 44 charges related to ripping off $1.5 million in party funds.
The 42-year-old appeared via videolink and will be back before Victoria’s County Court in early May.
The money, raised through donations and other fundraising, was meant to be spent on the 2014 Victorian election, which saw the Liberal-National Coalition government lose office after just one term.
Mr Mantach was the party’s state director from 2012 until his resignation on March 1 last year.
The Liberal Party had been hoping to recover $450,000 of the money.
Court documents showed Mantach used an account in his wife’s name to make dozens of fraudulent claims regarding campaign mail-outs and other party expenses.
Mantach moved to Victoria in 2008 after serving in the Tasmanian Liberal Party as state director for three years.
He remains in custody and will return to court in early May.