Milat brother faces court on string of fraud charges
THE younger brother of the infamous Ivan Milat, Paul Thomas Milat, has pleaded guilty to eight charges of fraud in crimes described as having a “huge” impact on the community.
Paul Milat, 57, was co-accused with partner of 10 years, 56-year-old Lynda Ann Lucas, in front of the magistrate’s court in Chinchilla.
Police prosecutor Jodie Tehana said police had received “multiple reports spanning a period of six months”.
The court heard the pair had been posting advertisements online and putting posters up for items, then receiving payment without handing over the items.
Earlier this year the pair put a poster up at the laundromat in Chinchilla, advertising a water tank for $700.
They received payment for the tank then cut off all contact with the victim.
Ads were also posted on Gumtree for items such as a cockatoo, shipping container, caravan, trailer, and water tank.
Over six months, between December 4, 2018, to the end of July 2019, the pair allegedly stole $2880.
Ms Tehana said police conducted checks that confirmed a National Australian Bank account number used in the offences belonged to Lucas, and a Commonwealth Bank account used belonged to Milat.
The phone numbers that were used belonged to Milat.
“At 2pm on August 10 the police located the defendants, they were issued with their rights and cautioned,” she told the court.
“Police questioned the defendants about the offences. They said they were aware of the charges relating to one of the three, however their phones had been lost, they were trying to pay back the victims however they did not have any details to repay them.”
They both pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud.
Defence attorney Rebecca Peters said Milat pointed to the recent death of his daughter as reasoning for his actions.
“Earlier this year Mr Milat’s daughter died, and part of the offending from earlier this year is a result of her death, given that Mr Milat had to attend in Sydney, and incurred some costs backwards and forwards,” Ms Peters said.
Mr Milat has three remaining children.
Lucas, a self-employed massage therapist, denied the allegations at first, stating Milat had access to her bank details.
“She (Lucas) did admit that things did get out of hand, it seemed quite easy at the time, but they knew they were going to get caught,” Ms Peters said.
Magistrate Robbie Davies said the effect on the community was “huge”.
“It is a significant amount of money and numerous acts of dishonesty,” Mr Davies said.
“It is important that the offending is over a long period and there are eight separate victims. I do conclude that it is a serious matter… and caused a serious disadvantage to a number of people.”
The pair was charged with eight counts of fraud and dishonestly gaining benefits from crime, fined $1200 each for eight counts of fraud and $1440 each in restitution to the victims.
No conviction was recorded.