News

One scam too many lands woman in hot water

Image Digitally Enhanced

A WOMAN who was involved in a fraudulent overseas internet scam targeting small businesses has narrowly escaped spending time behind bars.

Joann Lee Hallett, 43, pleaded guilty on Thursday in Ipswich District Court to receiving tainted property stemming from the scam.

Crown prosecutor Matt Le Grand told the court the offences occurred between February and September, 2014 and involved 36 individual transactions.

He said Hallett had met a person online called "Alex from Cambodia" who asked her to send him some products he had purchased from businesses in Australia.

Mr Le Grand said Alex told Hallett he could not receive the products because the Australian businesses would not ship them to Cambodia. He said Alex was using stolen credit cards to make the purchases which totalled more than $10,000.

He told the court Alex paid Hallett a commission to send the products to him, and she received $2114 for her troubles.

Defence barrister Stephen Kissick said Hallett had no criminal history and was unaware of what she was getting herself into. He said Hallett had been unemployed and thought she could run a business from this, similar to legal ones operating in the US for consumers here.

"It is obvious she was used in a bigger scheme but there is no doubt she turned a blind eye to the obvious," he said.

"These overseas gangs use a particular type of person who is vulnerable and generally target them.

"But obviously there came a point where she understood what she was doing was probably not right."

Judge Sarah Bradley said she did not believe Hallett was unaware of what was happening.

"You should have had a very strong suspicion fraud was occurring, especially after someone who was scammed confronted you about it and warned you something was amiss," she said.

"Ultimately small businesses in Australia were sending property to your address and you knew full well they were not going to be paid. Unfortunately it is all too easy with the internet and credit cards these days for this fraudulent behaviour to occur."

Judge Bradley sentenced Hallett to six months behind bars but ordered she be released on immediate parole.

Topics:  ipswich, ipswich crime, ipswich district court, scam




Why these high school students got out of class

Ipswich State High School students Kalidah Thompson, Taylor Morris, Monica Grang and Ashlie Connell handed out daffodils at Ipswich Hospital on Friday.

Ipswich high school students on a mission to make others happy

Ipswich sprinters eye share of prizemoney

Ipswich sprinter Johnathon Taylor is a top hope for Sunday's annual Ipswich Lightning Gift at Bill Paterson Oval.

Strong Ipswich contingent challenges in handicap races

Could this be the region's most diverse school?

Georgia Vaaelua, Year 6, and Riyak Rahmanhasan, Year 5.

Inala students share their traditions

Latest deals and offers

Kate McKinnon 'destitute' before SNL

Kate McKinnon says she can't do anything but act

FBI investigating Leslie Jones website hack

The FBI are investigating Leslie Jones' personal website hack

Katy Perry: 'I stay normal with therapy'

Katy Perry says she relies on therapy to help her 'stay normal'

World's highest-paid actor revealed

The highest-paid actors in the world have been revealed

Jessica Alba regrets her tattoos

Jessica Alba regrets getting her tattoos

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson highest paid actor in world

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

Johnson earned almost $20 million more than Jennifer Lawrence

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa