Former Australian of the Year state finalist Eman Sharobeem mistakenly bought a Mercedes for her husband using public funds, a Sydney corruption inquiry has heard.
The pair had gone to a western Sydney dealership to buy two cars for the two health services she was running when they spotted the $35,000 Mercedes Benz hatchback.
"We saw this one and were laughing about it," Sharobeem told the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Friday.
"We never dreamed of having a Mercedes or never rode one."
She didn't have as much luck finding a suitable car for the Immigrant Women's Health Service.
Instead, she spontaneously handed over an $18,000 cheque from the IWHS to pay for her husband's Mercedes.
She denied planning to buy him the car, saying it was a mistake.
"I made the bank cheque but definitely it was from the wrong account," she said.
"I wouldn't take the organisation money and pay for a Mercedes. I'm not stupid."
In emails shown to the commission, Sharobeem told an auditor she would refund the amount to IWHS.
But after looking over her bank statements, counsel assisting the ICAC Ramesh Rajalingam said he couldn't find an $18,000 withdrawal from that time.
Sharobeem is also accused of using an IWHS holiday club for her Surfers Paradise honeymoon and fraudulently claiming the $8900 membership fee.
She asked to be reimbursed $8900 for personally paying a handyman to "establish the new service for multicultural mix elder group in Bankstown".
But the cut receipt allegedly from the handyman appears to be the same receipt attached to the holiday club membership agreement.
"Are you the handyman?" Mr Rajalingam asked Sharobeem.
Sharobeem is expected to finish giving evidence on Monday and the ICAC inquiry will then resume on June 13.