Snap gym owner ripped off own business to help sick mum
A Brisbane gym owner who defrauded his own venture thousands of dollars sent the money to his sick mother, a court has heard.
Former Gymfit United co-director Ryan Gary Scott, 38, today pleaded guilty to fraud, forgery and uttering a forged document.
The company operates 24-hour gym Snap Fitness at the Gap where Scott was also paid as a consultant for a managerial role.
The Brisbane Magistrates Court heard the company decided to sell a vending machine for $6800 to a third party in December 2018. After an initial $1800 deposit no further money was seen, the court heard.
The co-directors raised this with Scott who said he gave the purchaser leeway because he had to attend the Philippines due to his mother being ill.
"Which isn't true … he's not even Filipino," police prosecutor Sgt Duncan Erskine told the court.
In July 2019 a co-director contacted the purchaser who provided an invoice showing he had paid the full amount. However Scott had placed his account number on the doctored invoice not the company's, Sgt Erskine said.
When confronted Scott apologised stating his mother was ill and he was helping with the costs.
Scott's lawyer Brendan Ryan said his client paid back half the amount before any concerns were raised and when confronted he repaid the full amount plus $700 that day.
"He took the money, he had no right to take the money. He repaid the money as soon as he could," he said.
Mr Ryan said at the time his client, who has no criminal history, had been sending a lot of money to his sick mother in England and his ex-partner.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Janelle Brassington said an aggravating factor of the crimes was Scott's position as a company director however the fact he made full restitution was relevant.
"The time that this took place it appears you were under some financial pressure," she said.
"So it's not a case where the fraud is for greed … it seems to be trying to meet financial obligations."
Scott was sentenced to 120 hours of community service and no conviction was recorded.
Originally published as Snap gym owner ripped off own business to help sick mum