On 24 July 2019, the Supreme Court of Victoria sentenced Mr Ahmed Mohamed (26), Mr Abdullah Chaarani (28) and Mr Hatim Moukhaiber (31) to lengthy prison terms for engaging in a terrorist act contrary to s101.1(1) of the Criminal Code 2010 (Cth). The terrorist act involved setting fire to a Shia mosque in suburban Melbourne on 11 December 2016.
On 31 July 2020, following a lengthy investigation conducted by corporate regulator ASIC the NSW District Court sentenced former financial advisor Mr Graeme Miller to six years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years, for conducting a Ponzi Scheme.
In a landmark case, the Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd, trading as CommInsure, was fined $700,000 on 28 November 2019 after earlier pleading guilty to 87 counts of offering to sell insurance products in the course of unlawful, unsolicited telemarketing calls. This conduct is known as “hawking”.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Fraud Taskforce was established in July 2018 to tackle fraud committed against the scheme. It is a joint operation involving the National Disability Insurance Agency, Services Australia and the AFP, with the CDPP participating as an advisory member.
On 17 October 2019, former Queensland financial adviser Ben Jayaweera (61), was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of six years, for defrauding clients of $5.9 million by diverting their investments into a failed abalone farm without their knowledge.
A man who adopted the persona of an 11-year-old lesbian girl called Maddie to chat to girls via Twitter, was sentenced in October 2019 to four years and six months’ imprisonment. It is the second prosecution under ‘Carly’s Law’ since the legislation was introduced in 2017.
On 4 October 2019, Ryan McCarthy (27) was sentenced in the Brisbane District Court to 5 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 18 months for placing false job advertisements online and stealing the identities of job applicants in order to lodge false income tax returns. He was also ordered to pay reparations of more than $167,000.
The ringleader of a group of extremist Muslims who planned to sail to the southern Philippines and encourage others to violently overthrow its government, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment on 3 May 2019.
In May 2019, an Adelaide paedophile described as ‘a child’s worst nightmare’ by Judge Chapman in the District Court of South Australia, was jailed for 40 years and three months, with a non-parole period of 28 years.
On 10 July 2019, a financial advisor who stole $4.8 million from his clients was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of seven years. James Gibbs (51) was sentenced in the District Court in Adelaide, after stealing the money from 30 victims who were retired or preparing for retirement between 2009 and 2016.
Australians lose millions every year to online dating and romance scams. Lured in by the prospect of finding true love, victims hand over their hearts and money to scammers who create fake online profiles targeting dating websites, apps and social media.
On 2 August 2019, Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd (K-Line) was convicted of criminal cartel conduct and fined $34.5 million: the largest ever criminal fine imposed under the Competition and Consumer Act.
On 23 April 2014, Victoria Police seized a fully automatic Thureon machine gun imported illegally from the United States. It was the first time this type of automatic firearm, which has a cyclic rate of fire of 1,000 rounds of ammunition per minute, had been seized in Australia.
On 12 April 2019, Mr Sergio Amaranti was sentenced to two years and nine months’ imprisonment, to be released after 18 months upon entering into a Recognisance Release Order, in the District Court of Western Australia after earlier pleading guilty to seven counts of dishonest conduct.
On 15 March 2019, former financial planner Gabriel Nakhl was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of six years, after he took approximately $5.1 million of his clients’ investment funds and used it for his own purposes. Reparation orders totalling $4.6 million were made in favour of the victims.