It took almost four years for a convicted fraudster to systematically steal $1.3m from his employer – here’s how he used the stolen money to live the high life.
It took almost four years for a convicted fraudster to systematically steal $1.3m from his employer – here’s how he used the stolen money to live the high life.

Fraud spent $1.3m on a life of luxury

IT took almost four years for a convicted fraudster to systematically steal more than $1.3 million from his employer - Gold Coast company LocalSearch.

Former chief financial officer Adam Matthew Jackson used the stolen cash to live the high life.

Over the course of three years and 10 months he diverted money to buy three cars, take his family on holiday to Bali and Norway and pay for renovations to his Broadbeach home.

Jackson even sold one of the cars he purchased by using stolen money from LocalSearch back to the company.

Judge David Kent last week sentenced the serial fraudster to nine years prison in the Southport District Court after Jackson pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud between August 2014 and May 2018.

He will be eligible for parole in August next year.

LocalSearch is a Gold Coast-based online directory. Its owner Adam Hargraves was jailed in 2010 for six-and-a-half years after avoiding more than $2 million in tax, but their sentence was reduced to five years on appeal.

Mr Hargraves had nothing to do with Jackson's offending.

Being charged with fraud did not stop Jackson's dishonesty.

In August 2018 he faked a group certificate so he could get financing to buy a Volkswagen Golf.

He pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday to forgery, uttering a forged document and fraud.

It was not the first time Jackson has faced the courts - about 20 years ago the former businessman was convicted for fraud in New South Wales.

Documents tendered to the Southport District Court detail how Jackson lied on his resume about being a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) and a Justice of the Peace.

The highest level of education Jackson has received is completing Year 12.

A few months after starting his job, Jackson would begin to defraud the company.

He used a variety of methods to steal the money, including giving his bank account details for invoices, using the company credit card for personal purchases, arranging for rent from a company unit to be paid to his bank account, using fake documents to pay his wife a salary, faking part-time workers' pay sheets and pocketing the difference, and writing cash cheques to himself.

Jackson also arranged for a pay rise and unauthorised bonuses to be paid to himself.

He also booked private holidays on the company credit card.

The financial officer's deception was not discovered until an external account began to look into his past and notified the company directors.

"He denied any further offending at the company," the court documents said.

"He said his criminal history was a burden and he would never breach the company's trust or steal from the company."

Investigations at the company continued and LocalSearch went to police when it found the money had been stolen.

Consent caveats were placed on Jackson's assets and his property liquidated.

Since his detection Jackson has paid back $1.1 million of the $1.3 million he stole.

Defence lawyer Jason Jacobson, of Jacobson Mahony Lawyers, told the Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday: "Everything he had he immediately liquidated but it left him with nothing."

Between being charged for fraud in late 2018 and being sentenced this month, it is understood Jackson had been working for another company on the Gold Coast and volunteering with charities.

lea.emery@news.com.au

 

Originally published as How Coast man spent $1.3M in stolen cash


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