Worker dodges jail over $80k scrap metal scam
An employee who took part in a scrap metal scam that defrauded a Brisbane recycling business of $78,000 has narrowly avoided jail.
Jesse Edward Alfred Willmot, 22, of Ipswich, fronted Brisbane District Court this morning where he pleaded guilty to his role in defrauding Recycling Metal Industries Pty Ltd over five months in 2018.
The court was told that Willmot had only been working for the business for about three weeks when a regular customer, Mousa Tawil, approached him and allegedly encouraged Willmot to help him defraud the company.
Prosecutor Ben Jackson said Willmot did this by inflating the weight of the scrap metal that Tawil was selling in return for a cut in the profits.
CCTV footage showed the pair weighing drums twice, adding scrap metal already on site into the drums and Tawil allegedly reselling the same drums to the company.
Defence barrister Kate Juhasz said Willmot's cut in the scheme was only $9000 and he was vulnerable to Tawil's alleged proposition because he had a marijuana addiction spawned from traumatic events in his childhood.
"He really had no idea of the full quantum that was taken," Ms Juhasz said.
Willmot pleaded guilty to stealing by clerks or servants and fraud and had made extensive admissions to Queensland Police when the scheme was discovered, the court was told.
Mr Jackson said Tawil was due to be sentenced today for the same two offences, but provided late instructions that he wanted to proceed to trial.
Judge Ian Dearden accepted that the ruse was not Willmot's idea but said he was "concerned" with how easily he went along with the plan.
Willmot was sentenced to three years' jail, but was released on immediate parole.