Fraud of $349,754 reduced to $0

Alan Phillips of our office acted for a client that was charged with defrauding people to the amount of $349,754.00. The investigation commenced in 2005 when our client was reported to the Victorian Police major fraud unit in 2005. A police investigation commenced over the next five years involving the Queensland Police Service and the Corporate Crimes Unit.

The allegations were that in early 2004, the co-accused met the complainant through a real estate agency. During the course of their relationship, the co-accused became privy to the fact that the complainant had a son with schizophrenia and spoke with the complainant about a number of investment opportunities. One of which being a ‘brain mapping machine’ that was in the process of being developed.

The co-accused persuaded the complainant to fund the developing technology as it would be a good investment and it could also aid their son. The complainant relied on these representations and invested $48,000, $217,000 and $84,239.00 for the total pecuniary detriment of $349,754.00. Importantly, our client maintained that she had never met nor spoken to the complainant, and that the co-accused was solely responsible.

A basha inquiry was conducted of the co-accused witness by Mr David Keane of Counsel, instructed by Alan Phillips. The co-accused’s evidence raised a defence of honest claim of right under Section 22 of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

This led to a strong bargaining position for our client, and negotiations were commenced with the Crown, leading to the Crown amending the schedule of facts to remove reference to the $349,754.00. Our client agreed to plead guilty to fraud – detriment of another, without any quantum. Accordingly the severity of the charge was reduced, and the maximum penalty was reduced from 10 years to 3 years. Our client, having been in custody for a significant period of time, pleaded guilty and was released on that day.

If you are interested in our criminal lawyers acting on your behalf, please call either Alan Phillips on 3009 8469 or 0403 846 238 or Nicholas Crawford on 3009 8467 or 0410 413 107.

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