Police Constable David Latemore pictured in 2004 outside  the Woolworth's Complex carpark.
Police Constable David Latemore pictured in 2004 outside the Woolworth's Complex carpark. David Thomas

Ex-police officer jailed for $1.1m ATO fraud

A FORMER police officer has been jailed for falsely claiming he was owed more than $1.1 million in returns for business expenses including luxury cars and a $9 million super yacht.

David John Latemore, 48, was sentenced to two and a half years' behind bars, but will be released after serving four months.

After that time, he will be subjected to a $250,000, three-year good-behaviour bond and will have to pay back more than $138,000 in refunds he was given by the Australian Taxation Office.

Judge Gary Long handed down the sentence today in Maroochydore District Court, where Latemore pleaded guilty in November to six counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception, four counts of using a forged document to induce a Commonwealth official and two counts of attempting to obtain financial advantage by deception.

Between 2008 and 2012, Latemore filed eight quarterly Business Activity Statements under an ABN which made the fraudulent claims.

Of the more than $1.1 million he claimed he was owed, $138,000 was paid into his bank account.

Two of the offences were committed while Latemore was still a serving police officer.

When the ATO got suspicious and audited Latemore, he produced false documents detailing the purchase of a $9 million motor cruiser and several cars including a Mercedes Benz.

Although he claimed he was the director of a motor vehicle and yacht business, the audit found the company had no business activity and did not make any sales or purchases. 

Latemore served as a police officer, including time at Kawana Shoppingworld's police beat, for 15 years before he left on medical grounds in 2010 after he was called to a fatal crash involving a friend of his.

Judge Long told the court Latemore had been mistreated by a doctor who wrongly diagnosed him with ADHD and subsequently medicated him.

Action is being taken against the doctor and the medication was understood to have "significantly reduced" Latemore's culpability, but Judge Long noted that he had offended both before and after that period.

In 2016, Latemore was convicted after he gained $26,500 from numerous dishonesty offences which occurred over a six-year period.

Latemore was further fined $100 that year for unauthorised dealing of shop goods.

Judge Long said Latemore's crimes had the "outward appearance of deliberateness", but acknowledged mental health professionals described him as having "intermittent impairment" and "fluctuating mental capacity".

Supporters of Latemore in the public gallery were visibly upset by Judge Long's ruling.