NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has told players to “choose their friends and associates wisely” while promising punishment for those who ignore a police warning for allegedly consorting with convicted criminals.
Parramatta duo Corey Norman and Junior Paulo, along with Penrith hooker James Segeyaro, have been issued with official warnings by NSW Police after the posting of a photo on social media.
The photo, posted by Paulo on his Instagram account, allegedly showed them dining with former senior Nomad boss Paulie Younan and accused fraudster and money launderer Rafat Alameddine last Friday night, according to Fairfax Media.
A person can be charged with consorting if they habitually consort with convicted offenders.
The maximum penalty for consorting is three years in prison.
In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Greenberg warned players to be vigilant about who they chose to mix with.
“This reflects poorly on the players involved and is a bad look for the game,” Greenberg said.
“I would expect those who have received warnings to take them very seriously.
“The penalties for ignoring a warning are severe and we fully support the police in the action they have taken.”
Fairfax Media said the photo was believed to have been taken hours before a group of men, including Norman, were stopped from entering The Star casino when security officers found a container of pills, which where were later sent for analysis.
To be classified as ‘habitually consorting’, a person must consort with at least two convicted criminals, and consort with each convicted offender on at least two occasions.
“Organised Crime Squad detectives have issued consorting warnings to three current NRL players under section 93x of the Crimes Act 1900,” NSW Police said in a statement.
“The warnings were issued to three men aged 22, 25 and 26.”