Salary cap breaches by Australia’s Melbourne Storm rugby league club were referred to the police today after an audit revealed the alleged fraud was nearly double the amount first predicted.

Storm owners News Limited chief executive John Hartigan says 13 Storm players — including seven members of the current NRL squad — received payments outside the salary cap.

been revealed the club’s cap breaches tallied $3.17 million from 2006
until the end of this season – nearly double the original predictions.

Hartigan says the audit, commissioned by News and conducted by
accounting firm Deloitte, showed the club was almost $1 million over the
cap in the 2010 season alone.

He says the club has no choice but
to accept the harsh penalties imposed by the NRL, which included the
stripping of two premierships and forcing the club to play for no
points in 2010.

News have sacked Storm chairman Rob Moodie and fellow independent directors Petra Fawcett, Peter Maher and Gerry Ryan.