$65k ’love scam’ lands truckie with jail sentence
A man who swindled $65,000 from a stranger's financial planner says he was being duped by a dating site scam.
Dion James Taylor, 43, received a suspended sentence on Tuesday after police linked his account to a fraudulent transfer made in early 2016.
Noosa Magistrates Court previously heard Taylor posed as another person, asking that person's financial advisor in emails to transfer the money.
It wasn't until a second request for a further $65,000 on February 8, 2016, that the financial advisor gave their client a call and realised the scam.
Police requested Taylor's bank statements which showed a $65,000 transfer into his bank account.
He then transferred one sum to someone in Singapore and another to a person in Western Australia before withdrawing the remaining $9500 in cash.
Despite the $65,000 lump sum, police charged Taylor for fraud to the value of only $9,500.
Police prosecutor Phillip Stephens on Tuesday said Taylor was likely acting as a "mule" in a money scheme.
"We have seen these before where criminals engage someone to receive money into their account and they get some sort of compensation by way of being able to withdraw some themselves," Sergeant Stephens said.
"This is perhaps what has happened on this occasion."
Taylor on Tuesday confirmed his guilty plea to one count of fraud- dishonestly obtaining money.
The court heard he had previously received a suspended jail term for a dishonesty offence
in 2010 when he was found with $31,000 of tainted property.
Defence lawyer Mark Gregory said his client, a father-of-two, had been caught up in a love scam.
He said a woman who Taylor met via a dating app told him she was a successful gambler and she was going to come and spend her life with him.
Mr Gregory told the court Taylor followed the woman's instructions but he no longer had a copy of all his emails with her.
"It is very difficult to believe a fraudster, Mr Gregory," magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist said.
He said it was a serious offence with a maximum penalty of five years in jail and others needed to be deterred.
Taylor was sentenced to 12 months in jail, wholly suspended for three years.
He was ordered to pay $9500 in restitution.