Melissa Quinn, Belinda Nott and Nicolette van Wijngaarden.
Melissa Quinn, Belinda Nott and Nicolette van Wijngaarden.

NAMED: Shocking white collar crimes on the Northern Rivers

FALSIFYING documents, stealing large amounts of money or pretending to have cancer doesn't tend to sit well with the wider population.

But taking a look at recent court proceedings on the Northern Rivers, there's been several people who have tried to get away with white collar crimes in the past few years and failed.

 

We take a look at those cases:

A BACKPACKER who used a stolen bank card to purchase alcohol, groceries and a skateboard has been convicted.

Alexandre Lavoie Raymond Blanchard appeared before Byron Bay Local Court in January, where he pleaded guilty to larceny for the value less than $2000 and dishonestly obtaining property by deception.

The court heard the French-Canadian backpacker had found an ANZ bank card at the Great Northern Hotel in Byron Bay while he was out drinking with friends.

He then used the card to make $954 worth of purchases, including spending $197 on alcohol at the bar for his friends, about $85 at restaurants and another $85 worth of groceries.

He also purchased clothing and bought a $189 skateboard, where he had to make two transactions to use the $100 pay wave function limit on the stolen bank card.

When the card stopped working, Mr Blanchard threw it away on the ground.

Mr Blanchard told the court it was a "really stupid thing" to use the card but explained he was "really drunk" and wasn't making responsible decisions at the time of the purchases.

The court heard Mr Blanchard said he'd spoken apologised to the owner of the bank card and had also returned all the goods purchased, except the alcohol consumed.

Mr Blanchard was fined $500 and given an 18 months community corrections order.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

 

Unique Estates Company Director Nicolette van Wijngaarden was jailed for misusing company funds. Photo Contributed
Unique Estates Company Director Nicolette van Wijngaarden was jailed for misusing company funds. Photo Contributed

A HIGH-PROFILE real estate agent was jailed in November after misusing $3.6m of customers' money to try and keep her business afloat.

Nicolette Van Wijngaarden, 45, had founded the national boutique estate agency Unique Estates, which was based in Byron Bay, Sydney and Melbourne.

But last year she pleaded guilty to two charges relating to the fraudulent misuse of money from her time running the now defunct high-end real estate agency.

The charges relate to misusing over $1 million in rent money and misusing funds from the sale of a property on the NSW North Coast.

She pleaded guilty to two fraud charges in June after misusing, in some cases, the life savings of clients.

She was sentenced to three years and six months jail.

"You can't just take people's money without their authority," Judge John Pickering said during sentencing.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

 

THE daughter of a former Lismore mayor was convicted of fraud in 2017.

Belinda Catherine Nott was convicted for obtaining financial advantage by deception in Lismore Local Court and handed a 15-month suspended jail sentence in November 2017.

The court found in June 2016 Nott had falsified $5720 in payment receipts to a Lismore advertising business.

Nott had created two fake Commonwealth Bank payment receipts to pretend she had settled a long overdue debt with Sidewinder Advertising for advertising services for a business Nott co-owned with her husband, the Ballina Manor, and another business, Wilsons College student accommodation in Lismore.

Nott on 9 June 2016 claimed to have paid the money via a cash deposit but the money had never been deposited and the receipts were fake.

During the police investigation, Nott had tried to shift the blame to her employee for failing to lodge the deposits, but the court rejected her claim.

When she was first formally interviewed in September 2016, Nott told police that she was never at the bank and had in fact asked a staff member to deposit the cash, but couldn't remember who.

At the time of sentencing, Judge Laura Wells said it was a "quite serious episode" for the mother of four as "some planning and consideration must have gone into her acts".

Judge Wells said she found Nott's evidence was "simply not acceptable, and not believable".

However, last June Nott was sentenced to a 15-month intensive corrections order for breaching the suspended fraud sentence and given a four-month order for a separate intimidation offence.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

 

Belinda Nott attends court at Ballina Court House.
Belinda Nott attends court at Ballina Court House.

A BEXHILL woman who fraudulently cashed cheques belonging to an elderly woman was forced to repay the $8500 she stole.

Rhonda Margaret Taylor, also known as Rhonda Tidesell, was convicted of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage or causing disadvantaged by deception in Lismore Local Court in September.

The 47-year-old had on two separate occasions written and cashed two cheques not belonging to her at the Bank of Queensland in Lismore in October 2018.

Court documents revealed Taylor had used two cheques belonging to her 87-year-old landlord, who Taylor had helped the elderly woman "with various domestic duties".

Taylor on two separate occasions had written and collected $6500 and $2000 respectively from the Lismore branch.

However, suspicion was raised about her legitimacy when on a on a third occasion, she presented a third cheque valuing $2500 and was refused service by the teller.

The 87-year-old woman contacted police when she found her cheque book in a different spot in her house.

Taylor was sentenced with a 15-month Intensive Correction Order, which includes 150 hours of community service and ordered to repay the $8500 to the victim.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

 

Melissa Quinn was sentenced to two years prison with a nine-month non-parole period in November 2018. Picture: Marc Stapelberg/Northern Star
Melissa Quinn was sentenced to two years prison with a nine-month non-parole period in November 2018. Picture: Marc Stapelberg/Northern Star

 

A CASINO cancer fraudster has had an appeal against her sentence dismissed.

Melissa Irene Quinn was sentenced to two years prison with a nine-month non-parole period in November 2018.

She had earlier pleaded guilty to four counts of dishonestly obtaining an advantage by deception, which related to a total of more than $45,000 in funds raised due to support her fake treatment.

The mother-of-four had faked multiple bouts of cancer for financial gain between November 2014 and June 2016.

On multiple occasions the community rallied around her to raise thousands of dollars to fund trips overseas for supposed cancer treatments.

Quinn unsuccessfully appealed the sentencing decision in November 2018, where Judge Laura Wells found Quinn's "expression of remorse made to police in the interview" was "sadly, to some extent undone by the change of the account which she gave to expert witnesses".

Quinn was due for parole in August last year and has been ordered to repay the fraudulently raised funds.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE



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