A senior bureaucrat accused with two others of Western Australia's biggest public sector theft has secured bail for a second time after surviving a serious attempt on his own life and being served more than 500 additional charges.
Former Department of Communities executive Paul Whyte, 56, faced Perth Magistrates Court on Friday after being released the previous night from hospital, where he had been under an involuntary psychiatric order for almost a month.
Prosecutors argued the seriousness of the alleged $22 million fraud and Whyte's potential threat to himself meant he should be remanded in custody.
But Magistrate Deen Potter granted continued bail, ordering Whyte to pay a $1.5 million surety and to report to police on a daily basis.
Defence lawyer Michael Tudori told the court Whyte had made admissions to police and was inevitably facing a "lengthy" prison term.
Whyte and physiotherapist Jacob Anthonisz, 43, are each facing 530 charges after allegedly raising false invoices for three shelf companies dating back to 2008.
A 45-year-old Beechboro woman who is yet to face court has been charged with acting in concert with the two men.
Whyte and Anthonisz are alleged to have spent the money on racehorses, paying a horse stud service in New Zealand, and personal expenses and bills.
Prosecutor Ben Procopis said staff at the Department of Communities had identified payments made to unauthorised companies that were "unilaterally" approved by Whyte.
He added that Anthonisz had been the director and account holder for the three shelf companies - iValuate, Boldline and Quadrant Analytics.
Much of the proceeds were yet to be located, he said.
Mr Tudori said Whyte had voluntarily taken part in a "tell-all" seven-hour police interview across three days while in hospital.
"There will ultimately be pleas of guilty and it's always been this position," he told the court.
"As night follows day, a lengthy term of imprisonment is coming."
He added that Whyte's mental health had stabilised since the self-harm incident at his Mosman Park home and he was no longer a threat to himself.
"He got himself so worked up in the preparation for that interview, the media scrutiny - he found himself in a very dark place," Mr Tudori said.
"He's grateful that his life didn't end."
Mr Tudori later told reporters his client was "contrite" and hoped to rebuild his life, even with the prospect of imprisonment.
He added that there would likely be some dispute as to the total amount of money Whyte was alleged to have stolen.
Anthonisz, who is also yet to enter pleas, briefly faced court and was granted an extension of his bail until his next hearing on Thursday.
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Australian Associated Press