Dads $75K fraud nets iPhones for wife and kids


A FRAUDSTER dad who ripped off his employer by at least $75,000 supplied his family with iPhones, computers and internet data.

It was all paid for the Queensland Agricultural Training College (QATC) until a work colleague sprung the man for his unauthorised Telstra accounts.

The phone and internet data accounts were tracked to his children and mum and dad.

In facts put before Ipswich Magistrates Court the shopping spree of Brendan McCann included iPhones; 18 Apple Air Pods, six Apple watches, and seven Telstra handsets worth $7000 that he apparently gave to a friend to help him out of a debt.

Despite a stern warning by magistrate Donna MacCallum the professional worker has narrowly escaped jail time.

Brendan McCann, 36 and now living in Toowoomba, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to stealing when a clerk/servant ($39,000 value) ; and two charges of committing fraud by the dishonest application of property by an employee. The identified offences identified involved $75,294 worth of property and were committed between 2016 and 2018.

In the Crown prosecution case legal officer Jessica Beckman said the crime was done over a long period and could not be blamed on a brain snap.

Ms MacCallum said McCann showed "a high level of cooperation" with the police investigation.

He had also repaid or returned items with $22,607 still outstanding.

She said he should know better.

Ms MacCallum took into account defence submissions about McCann's illness and ongoing health problems including a liver transplant with more surgery to be done within three months.

She said sentencing McCann was difficult but the court would exercise some compassion and consider that he would pay back what was still owed, and his cooperation.

McCann was sentenced to a jail term of 30 months with immediate release on parole.

"Mr McCann you really are on your last warning. You have shown a propensity for offences of this type," she said.

"You need to understand the consequences on your former employee, your family and children. You would not like them to visit you in prison.

"Prisons are not holiday camps. There are nasty types of people ."

The facts reveal McCann organised three Telstra phone services for his family and paid for by the QATC.

He told police he went off the rails in 2015 and made a series of stupid financial decisions and been "selling shit to pay off his debts".

McCann guess-estimated that the value of items taken from QATC at around $60,000.

The mobile phone and data accounts of his family had been billed to QATC Telstra accounts.

The Crown facts state that the accounts were only able to be tracked to April 2016 and in that time the bills totalled $10,629.07.

McCann admitted taking home electronic property phones and computers that belonged to the agricultural college and "doctored" invoices placing false orders.

Some of the property was sold on eBay or Gumtree.

In 2017 three new iPhones were shipped to QATC which he sold new.

He admitted selling about 20 phones online.

He held four laptops that were meant to be returned by the college to Dell.

He took a new $2500 laptop home when it arrived McCann.

Other goods stolen and sold online included 18 Apple Air Pods ($198 each), and six Apple watches (kept two for himself and his wife).

A new Samsung Galaxy bought for work was he then sold privately.

From early 2015 he doctored about a dozen receipts to hide the purchases of goods such as $998 iPad, a $750 security system for his home, $1600 worth of computer parts, and three LVC laptops for his children.

There were also iTunes gifts cards.

The facts state the estimated value of property McCann stole was worth $39,000. With his overall fraudulent behaviour valued at $75,294.

The value of goods that he could recall selling was $25,665. Restitution of $13,687 has since been repaid to QATC.

With limited detail of what McCann stole revealed in open court, The Queensland Times paid to read the agreed facts on record.

Queensland is the only state where media must pay money to check the agreed facts on record.

In the rest of Australia this is free as their governments acknowledge the importance of court reporters having unhindered access to the facts to be accurate in their reports.

However, in Queensland (where often it is just fragmented facts revealed in open court) the State Government has made a barrier to media reporting by charging fees in what is meant to be an open court system.

In the Ipswich Court system it can take two to six working days to get access to these facts.

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