Fraud case in the Melbourne Magistrates Court
Our client was charged with:
– Obtaining financial advantage (over $60,000 from the Taxi Services Commission) by deception in contravention of Section 82of the Crimes Act 1958
Level 5 imprisonment ( 10 years maximum)
What our client received
- Six-month jail term but wholly suspended for 12 months.
- Payment of $1000 to the Taxi Services Commission for legal costs
Our client has been a taxi driver for over 10 years. He was charged with dishonestly obtaining over $60,000 from the Taxi Services Commission.
The offence occurred between June 2011 and March 2013. Our client had bought a taxi licence to operate a maxi taxi for close to half a million dollars from the Taxi Services Commission in April 2010. However due to regulatory changes, four months after his purchase, the Victorian Government released a flood of additional maxi taxi licenses, the result of which meant that the value if our client’s maxi taxi license had decreased significantly. As our client used his family home as security for the purchase of the taxi license, he was in fear of the financial security of his family (the client had two young children to look after). This led to our client committing the relevant offences as he attempted to recoup his losses.
In the reasons, for sentencing, by the Magistrate, it was noted that our client:
- Entered an early plea of guilty in relation to his charges.
- Cooperated with the Taxi Services Commission at all times
- Shown remorse and has experienced embarrassment and a loss of honour among his family since the offending was exposed.
- Proactively offered to pay back the money he dishonestly obtained, prior to his court hearing
- Would most likely face disciplinary action from the Taxi Services Commission, which includes the possible loss of his taxi accreditation.
Why was this a favourable outcome?
Our client originally came to our office seeking legal advice. After intense negotiations with the Taxi Services Commission, the total value of the deception was determined. The fact that the total amount was under $100,000 was significant to ensure that the matter stayed in the Magistrate Courts and did not get uplifted to the County Court. This is a benefit as the severity of sentencing in the Magistrates Court is much less than that of the County Court.
We then negotiated for the client to pay back in full the amount he dishonestly obtained, which also assisted in greatly in his plea hearing. As a result, our client received a very lenient sentence due to his early plea, his cooperation, and him actively paying back the amount he dishonestly obtained. Furthermore, the Magistrate also recognised the potential of our client facing further disciplinary action from the Taxi Commission.
If you have any queries on fraud cases, please contact us to get help.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that the above piece is NOT intended to be definitive legal advice. If you have enquiries relating to the above subject matter, please contact us for an obligation free, face to face consultation.