$1.1m fraud cop explains why he chose a life of crime
A FRAUDULANT ex-cop says he does not deserve to be in prison despite orchestrating a $1.1million tax fraud over 3.9 years.
David John Latemore on Thursday asked the Queensland Court of Appeal to overturn his jail term, saying he stole $130,000 and tried to dupe the tax office into giving him a further $1million because he was prescribed the wrong medicine.
In February, the former Sunshine Coast senior constable was sentenced to two-and-a-half years' jail with four months to serve after pleading guilty to six counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception, four counts of using a forged document to induce a Commonwealth official and two counts of attempting to obtain financial advantage by deception.
Latemore submitted eight false business activity statements to the tax office between 2008 and 2012, with the ATO paying out $130,000 before realising something was amiss.
He graduated to the tax office sting after starting his criminal career by buying products on eBay, then demanding his money back from the sellers after claiming the items never arrived even though they did.
He even stole an $800 iPad from a retailer.
Some of the crimes happened while he was on the force.
He continued the frauds after he was discharged and after the ATO started its own investigation.
When the ATO asked Latemore to prove he was owed the cash, he gave them false invoices for the fake purchase of multiple expensive cars and a $9million boat.
The ATO's audit also found the 48-year-old's company had never conducted any type of business activity and that its purported purchases and sales were all made up.
Latemore claimed the sentencing judge failed to take into account a section of his medical report that showed he was prescribed medication for ADHD and the experts' opinions that this altered his judgment.
"It's appalling to me," Latemore told the Court of Appeal justices on Thursday.
"I was sworn to uphold the law and I did so.
"Having my name tarnished, that brings untold pain on family and loved ones - my daughters are ashamed.
"I wish I could answer why I chose that path - I have no idea.
"It is certainly not in my character.
"I can only provide medical reports to explain it."
In opposing Latemore's application for the Crown, barrister Deborah Holliday said there could be "no quibble" over the head sentence of two-and-a-half years.
Ms Holliday said Latemore should spend the four months in prison as he was a serving police officer when he started breaking the law and because the frauds happened over an extensive period.
She noted his offending started before he changed medication and continued after he stopped taking the drugs in question.
Latemore served with Queensland Police for 15 years.
He was discharged with PTSD and depression after attending a car crash scene where a friend was killed.
The Court of Appeal will deliver its judgment on a date to be determined.