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Today, Luke Borg (36) was sentenced in the County Court of Victoria after pleading guilty to a number of child sex offences.

A man from Sydney was today sentenced to a total term of imprisonment of 34 years, with a non-parole period of 29 years, for preparing and planning a terrorist attack, threatening to kill the NSW Commissioner of Corrective Services and for an attack on an inmate in custody.

Three Victorian men were today sentenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria for the offence of engaging in a terrorist act.  A jury had earlier found the men guilty of this crime by setting fire to a Shia mosque in suburban Melbourne, causing $1.5 million in damage.

The Victorian County Court has today sentenced Mohamed Osman Omar (36), to four years imprisonment, after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) of more than $370,000, and attempting to obtain a further amount of more than $85,000.

Solar fraud results in prison term

Year
2020-2021
Location
Queensland

Date of Judgment: 5 August 2019

Court: Brisbane District Court

Partner Agency: The Clean Energy Regulator

Summary of charges:

Muldoon was charged with one count of fraud contrary to section 408C(1)(d) of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) and one summary offence of false or misleading documents, contrary to section 137.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

Synopsis:

On 5 August 2019, the Brisbane District Court sentenced Brett Stephen Muldoon to an effective sentence of four and a half years’ imprisonment, with a minimum of 15 months to serve in relation to fraud and false or misleading claims, with respect to the purported installation of over 400 solar water heaters.   

Key points:

Mr Muldoon, a qualified plumber, committed the fraud under the Commonwealth ‘Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme’ (SRES), lodging forms falsely stating that he installed air source heat pumps at various residences around Queensland. The registration of these installations resulted in the issuing of Small-Scale Technology Certificates (STCs), which could be bought and sold at a negotiated price.

The forms submitted by the defendant essentially signed over the rights to these certificates from the homeowners and/or himself, to an agent, in this case Emerging Energy Solutions Group Pty Ltd (EESG). Between 15 September 2013 and 9 September 2014, EESG, relying on the information provided by the defendant, paid him a total of $399,382, for STCs relating to installations that had never occurred. A total of 423 sets of false documents were submitted by Mr Muldoon to EESG, and he was paid for certificates relating to 415 of those purported installations.

The Clean Energy Regulator, the authority responsible for overseeing the SRES scheme, sees fraudulent activity such as this as a threat to the integrity of the schemes it administers. In delivering the sentence, Judge Everson noted that this kind of offending is serious and sentences that satisfy the need for general deterrence, punishment and rehabilitation were therefore called for. 

His Honour accepted that there had been a delay of more than three years between the detection of the offending and the defendant being charged, and that the defendant had entered early pleas of guilty. His Honour took into account the psychological and psychiatric reports tendered on the defendant’s behalf, diagnosing the defendant with a persistent and severe gambling disorder (the defendant having spent the entirety of the money he obtained on gambling). His Honour commented that had it not been for the mitigating circumstances of delay and the fact that the defendant had demonstrated rehabilitation (with his gambling disorder in remission), a higher sentence would have been imposed.

Sentencing:

Mr Muldoon entered guilty pleas, and was sentenced in relation to:

  • one count of fraud contrary to section 408C(1)(d) of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) [the court imposed four and a half years’ imprisonment, with a minimum of 15 months to serve]
  • one summary offence of false or misleading documents, contrary to section 137.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth) [the court imposed a six month term of imprisonment, to be served concurrently].