Fraud busted after client recognised identity he stole

AN unqualified motor vehicle safety inspector has used an inspector's Qld Department of Transport details to do a vehicle check in an attempt to get fast cash.

However, his ruse was detected soon after by a couple who had him do their vehicle roadworthy.

Gareth Short illegally used the identity of a legitimate inspector who the customer's wife knew when he carried out a bogus safety check of their vehicle in Calliope.

Short, 29, pleaded guilty in Gladstone Magistrates Court to forgery, committing fraud to dishonestly gain currency, and uttering a forged document at Calliope on October 13.

For his deception Short was convicted and received three months jail for each offence, with magistrate Robert Walker immediately suspending the sentence for 12 months.

The court was told Short advertised his service online and went to the couple's home to do a road safety inspection and issued the document.

He was paid $100 for the service.

Police prosecutor Gavin Reece said Gladstone police received a complaint from the legitimate inspector who told police his identity had been used to forge a Qld road safety certificate.

The safety inspection had been done by someone using his name and identification.

Mr Reece said Short was interviewed and he told police that he was out of a job and needed money to pay his rent to prevent being evicted.

He admitted that he forged the name of the examiner.

Defence lawyer Jun Pepito said Short was a marine technical superintendent who at the time was made redundant.

"It was a stupid decision. He was in fear of being evicted," he said.

He said Short now had to pay a $706 infringement to the department and had a new job.

Short told the court he had paid $100 back to the client and written a letter of apology to both the client and the inspector whose identity he used.

Mr Walker said the fraud was a serious offence of dishonesty as it could allow unsafe vehicles to be registered and used on the road.



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