SYDNEY (Reuters) - A former Australian judge, who blamed a dead woman for a speeding offence in his car, has been charged by police and could face a hefty jail sentence over his attempts to avoid a A$77 ($62) traffic fine.
After a long-running investigation that has attracted nationwide publicity, police laid 13 separate charges of perjury, perverting the course of justice and other offences against former judge and human rights advocate Marcus Einfeld.
A Sydney newspaper last year sparked the massive police investigation into the use of statutory declarations to avoid speeding fines after revealing a woman blamed for driving Einfeld's car had died three years before the offence. "It will be alleged that the offences relate to four separate camera detection infringement notices," chief police investigator Colin Dyson told reporters.
The police investigation found 240 people had also used a scam to blame another dead person, or a man living in another state, after their cars were photographed speeding or committing traffic offences.
A Sydney court last August dismissed a speeding charge against Einfeld when he provided a declaration that he had loaned his car to an old friend from the United States on the day of the offence.
A Sydney newspaper which attempted to verify Einfeld's story later found the woman had died in a car accident in 2003 -- three years before Einfeld's car was photographed speeding in Sydney.
Einfeld, who has previously denied any wrongdoing, was bailed to appear in court in April. The offences he is now charged with carry sentences of up to 14 years in jail.