A Melbourne man has devised a scheme to defraud his father of over $150,000 by impersonating the Victorian Prime Minister, Treasurer and Ombudsman.
50-year-old Peter Michael Baird began cheating on his father in 2012 when he asked for help to unlock a frozen bank account.
Baird said he would contact the ombudsman about the matter, but instead applied for two loans totaling more than $77,000 in his father’s name.
He also contacted Centrelink to have his father’s old-age pension payments redirected to his personal bank account.
Between June 2013 and May 2020, Baird received $152,423.33 that was due to his father.
Whenever an older man asked about a locked bank account, Baird said he was working with the ombudsman and the government to resolve the issue.
His father repeatedly received calls and emails purporting to be from Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews, then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Robin Scott, MP Kim Wells and the Victorian Ombudsman about his locked account.
When the pensioners finally contacted their offices directly, there was no record of their conversation.
Baird’s crimes came to light in May 2020 when he was jailed for another fraud.
He pleaded guilty in Victoria County Court to obtaining financial gain and property through fraud and was sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday.
County Court Judge Frank Gutchard said Baird’s actions were reprehensible as “indecency.”
“This act violates the basic principles of trust and family care, respect and responsibility in order to deceive for personal gain and greed,” the judge said in his ruling.
Baird’s father had to work part-time and rely on financial support from his partner, which led to undue stress, Judge Guchardo said.
The judge acknowledged that Baird had shown some remorse, noting that Baird was not addicted to drugs, alcohol or gambling, but instead used the money to pay rent and feed his children. .
However, Judge Guchardo said his rehab prospects were upheld and that serious conduct would need to be punished.
Baird is eligible for parole after three years and three months of detention.
https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/crime/scheming-son-jailed-after-conning-150k-off-his-father-c-10524532 Conspirator son jailed after swindling father out of $150,000