Former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper tried three times to have criminal charges thrown out of court following claims he misused his travel entitlements during several trips to some of the Canberra region's most prestigious wineries.
But three days spent wining and dining in 2010 caught up with Slipper in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday when he was found to have been dishonest in using almost $1000 in Cabcharge vouchers to pay for hire car travel to the wineries.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker found Slipper had acted dishonestly, and that he had knowingly caused a risk of loss to the Commonwealth.
The court heard the three trips included visits to Clonakilla in Murrumbateman, a $25 bottle of sparkling purchased at Gallagher Wines and lunchtime stops at Wily Trout Wines at Poachers Pantry, known for its gourmet smoked meats.
On two of the occasions Slipper was accompanied by former political staffer Tim Knapp, and on the third trip he was accompanied by his wife and former staffer, Inge Jane-Hall.
Slipper had used his government-issued Cabcharge allowance to pay for the trips on the basis he was on parliamentary business.
The two drivers who ferried Slipper and his guests on the trips told the court he had not paid for the trips using his Cabcharge card, but filled out multiple vouchers for each trip, which they said was unusual.
Slipper maintained his innocence to all three charges and his legal team tried unsuccessfully on three separate occasions to have the charges permanently stayed and dropped.
In handing down her decision, Ms Walker said Slipper was travelling outside his entitlements, and knew he was doing so, on the three trips.
She said Slipper had intentionally filled in the dockets with false information, including using general terms such as ''suburbs'' to describe his pick-up and drop-off locations, to conceal the fact he was not on parliamentary business.
Ms Walker said the vouchers Slipper filled out did not ''realistically reflect'' the journeys he took on any of the trips, and his use of the term ''suburbs'' to refer to the regional wineries was ''implausible''.
Slipper had his head bowed during Monday's appearance and did not react when the decision was handed down, except to take a sip of water.
He left the media pack waiting outside the court for almost an hour before he emerged, wearing dark sunglasses and declining to comment.
The former member for Fisher now faces an anxious wait to learn whether he will be jailed for up to five years when he is sentenced on September 22.
He is also at risk of losing millions of dollars in retirement benefits following his 23-year stint as a federal MP and several highly paid positions, including that of speaker.
Those benefits could be retained if Slipper is given a non-conviction order.
Ms Walker ordered a pre-sentence report be prepared ahead of Slipper's next court appearance.
During the trial, counsel for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Lionel Robberds, QC, had argued Slipper had entered false information and used multiple vouchers to conceal the fact he was not on parliamentary business.
Mr Robberds said Slipper had filled in the dockets for the trips with false details of the destination and amounts paid, and had broken up the trips in ''quite unrealistic'' ways.
''He was acting in a personal capacity, he was having a good time on these trips, which had nothing to do with parliamentary business.''
Slipper's defence lawyer, Kylie Weston-Scheuber, said the court needed to look at Slipper's Cabcharge voucher use in a broader context.
He was ''simply following his usual practice'' when he used multiple dockets to pay for trips and filled them out with general descriptions of his pick-up and drop-off destinations, she said.
She also said the court did not have a definition of what constituted parliamentary business to guide it.
Ms Walker said in her decision the definition of parliamentary business was not relevant as the allegations were over whether Slipper had acted dishonestly.
Slipper's lawyers last month made a second failed bid to have the charges dismissed on mental health grounds after it emerged Slipper had been diagnosed with a major depressive illness and had experienced suicidal thoughts.
He stood aside as Speaker in April 2012 after former staffer James Ashby accused him of misusing Cabcharge vouchers, as well as separate claims that he had sexually harassed Mr Ashby.
No charges were laid over the travel entitlement allegations, and Mr Ashby's sexual harassment claim was abandoned.