Ratkovcic aka Mathew

Date of Entry: 0/10/2020
Surname: Ratkovcic aka Mathew
Christian Names: Robert
Country: Australia
State or Province: Western Australia
City or Town: Heathridge, Perth
Service: Royal Australian Navy
Completion of service: 2014
Case Notes:


Defence Force Commissioned officers are proud of their reputation of being honourable persons. Every now and then a "Rat" invades their realm, and sullies their reputation and integrity. Such a "Rat" is Robert Ratkovcic aka Mathew.


Below is a media report, from The West Australian newspaper, that puts the finishing touches to his disgusting dishonesty.

The former executive officer of Legacy WA who siphoned more than $8000 from the charity set up to help war widows and their children has avoided a prison term.

Robert Mathew, formerly known as Robert Ratkovcic, pleaded guilty to 19 fraud and stealing offences, most of which involved buying personal goods with Legacy WA funds

The court heard Mathew used charity money to pay for more than $3600 worth of items from retailers like JB Hi-Fi and Woolworths, including headphones, grocery items and a $1925 sofa, and also paid for visits to The Camfield and Balmoral pubs with money that was not his.

When investigations were made into money missing from a fundraiser held by the charity, $3877 was found to have been taken from the safe kept in Mathew's office.

All money stolen from Legacy WA had since been repaid by Mathew who was said to suffer from PTSD, anxiety and depression following 21 years in the Royal Australian Navy.

Counsel for Mathew said his client was extremely remorseful and "devastated he's let everyone down".

The former submariner was handed a one-year prison term, suspended for one year, and was fined $2000.

"Your behaviour over an extended period of time is, quite frankly, disgusting," the magistrate said. "You should be ashamed of yourself."

Outside court Mathew apologised to Legacy WA.

Of course the "Rat" pulled the PTSD card on the Magistrate, which may have got some leniency. His dishonesty, lack of integrity and behaviour, is incomprehensible, and a term behind bars would have been welcomed by all involved and the Veteran and ex Service communities.

In addition, the court did not address the fact, that the "Rat" falsely claimed to have served on highly classified Submarine operations, for which, he has awarded himself an Army Service Medal.


Robert Ratkovcic, served in the RAN as a Commissioned Officer however he has now changed his name to Robert Mathew. Since resigning from the RAN, he worked as a paid Executive Officer (XO), of Legacy Western Australia.

Legacy is a charity providing services to Australian families suffering after the injury or death of a spouse or parent, during or after their defence force service. They currently care for around 52,000 beneficiaries, with 82% (over 76 years of age) of them being elderly widow, widowers throughout Australia.
We hold Statutory Declarations detailing that Ratkovcic aka Mathew had medals on display in his office, that included an Australian Service Medal with Clasp "Special Ops" He explained to other Legacy executives that the medal and clasp was for "service aboard a Submarine on special operations". That is a lie, he failed his Officer Submarine training course and was never a crew, member of a Submarine during special operations.

Here is the Australian service medal and the "Special Ops" clasp that is affixed to the medal:

But that's not all. Legacy Australia has a superb history of caring for families of ex Defence members. It is a Charitable organization that depends on the honesty and integrity of those who manage and administer it. In the position of XO, Ratkovcic, who falsely claimed to have been awarded an Australian Service Medal with clasp (Special Ops), stole money and goods designated for the benefit of widows, widowers, children, orphans and disabled beneficiaries.

He was charged with thirty offences. Six were stealing and a further twenty-four were fraud offences. In all cases, the ultimate victims were beneficiaries of Legacy WA.

For example:

He purchased a couch using the trust fund of a disabled legacy beneficiary. Ratkovcic aka Mathew then had it delivered to his own residence, and the disabled beneficiary received nothing except an account deficient of approximately $1900.

He used 5 Legacy gift cards (used for widows and wards) to buy a dress for a newly bereaved widow to wear to her husbands funeral. It was in fact used to buy his daughter a dress.

Below are details of the fraud and stealing charges laid against Ratkovcic, aka Matthew by WA Police.

Stealing as servant 1 charge
Fraud 24 charges
Stealing 5 charges.

Ratkovcic aka Mathew at the Perth Court

Initially he pleaded not guilty to all charges and that prolonged court action for many months. Finally, on 19 May 2020, he pleaded guilty to nineteen of the thirty charges. Prosecutors agreed to the withdrawal of 11 of the 30 charges if Ratcovcic was to enter a plea of guilty for the remaining 19. A factor was the age and health of a number of witnesses.

He is on bail, and to be sentenced on 21 July 2020, we will update this matter then.

Corruption, fraud and theft by an ex RAN Commissioned Officer is as dishonourable as it gets. An ex commissioned Officer who steals from a Defence related charity is simply beyond any pity.

We include him in our compliment of wannabes and cheats for falsely claiming to have participated in "Special Operations" aboard RAN Submarines, however, because of his deplorable dishonesty, even having him on our website, is an insult to all the other villains, malefactors and scoundrels that are listed.

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