Fraudster rips $33K off tax office in deceptive plan
A CALL centre worker stole more than $33,000 from the tax office by submitting a string of fake documents to pay off "debts".
Luke Norman Nash, 20, took advantage of his employment at the Australian Taxation Office to submit multiple fraudulent business account statements (BAS) with an unused ABN number, totalling to $39,743 of claims.
Nash appeared emotional in Maroochydore District Court on Monday after pleading guilty to both attempting and obtaining financial advantage by deception.
The court heard Nash's attempts to gain fraudulent money strung out over nine months, with the claim amounts starting at $124 and slowly becoming larger as he was successful.
The Crown prosecutor said Nash was finally caught in an audit after attempting to submit a claim for more than $6000.
The court heard a total of $39,743 in claims were made, with about $33,000 paid out.
Defence Barrister Nathan Turner said Nash was struggling with money, debts and mental health issues at the time.
"There was no indication he was living a lavish lifestyle. He was often in between jobs and lacked motivation to sustain employment," he said.
The court heard Nash, who had no criminal history, struggled with alcohol and had a "dysfunctional" upbringing.
Despite this, the Crown prosecutor said his money issues were "self-inflicted" as he was employed at the time.
Judge Gary Long said the "serious" crimes took advantage of a system the nation trusted.
He noted that while at first Nash denied his crimes, he later co-operated with police and the full investigation.
Judge Long said Nash had prospects of rehabilitation.
"There is a light on the horizon... you can make something of your life," he said.
Nash was sentenced to 21 months' jail, released immediately into a two-year good behaviour bond. A conviction was recorded.