Ovens Valley MP Tim McCurdy will face court next month after police charged him over alleged real estate fraud committed before he entered Victorian Parliament.
Victoria Police confirmed a 55-year-old Cobram man has been charged with four counts of making a false document, four counts of use a false document, attempt to obtain property by deception and obtain property by deception.
The National Party politician issued a statement on Tuesday confirming the charges, almost a year after it was revealed he was under investigation by police.
He is alleged to have forged documents to secure sales commissions worth about $375,000 while working as a real estate agent in 2009.
“Victoria Police has notified me this morning that I have been charged with a number of alleged offences that relate to a property sale conducted before I entered Parliament, when I was a real estate agent,” Mr McCurdy said in a statement.
“I am innocent of these allegations and I await the opportunity to defend myself in court and clear my name.
“As I prepare to have these matters heard in court, I am today stepping down from my Shadow Ministry responsibilities.
“I will not be making further comment about the charges or allegations ahead of the court appearance on April 24.”
He has been summonsed to appear at Shepparton Magistrates Court on April 24.
Police confirmed last year they interviewed and released a 54-year-old Cobram man after executing warrants on a property on May 30.
The investigation concerns Mr McCurdy's role in the sale of two farms in northern Victoria, Malmo and Pinegrove Park, to Chinese buyer Xing Long International.
Malmo was sold for $7.8 million with a $245,850 commission. Pinegrove Park was sold for $3.9 million with a $129,891 commission.
Mr McCurdy is alleged to have forged the letterhead of Cobram real estate agent Andrew Gilmour, without Mr Gilmour's knowledge, to obtain the commissions.
A spokesman for Premier Daniel Andrews said the government could not comment on the specific aspects of the case.
“This is a matter for Victoria Police and the Coalition, whose leader Matthew Guy has been caught eating lobsters with alleged mobsters," he said.
-With Adam Carey