Australian fish and chip shop swindler jailed for $316k of extra charges

 stuff.co.nz  06/14/2019 09:58:00 

An unscrupulous Melbourne fish and chip shop owner and serial fraudster has been served the salty message that a A$10,000 ($10,550) bill for minimum chips just won't fly in Australia.

A customer became suspicious after they checked their bank statement and discovered they had been charged A$10,000 by Tim Brosnan's fish and chip shop in Melbourne's east in August 2016.

Bemused, the customer called the store to alert them of the overcharge  at which stage Brosnan refused to return the money.

Tim Brosnan swindled almost $300,000 from 38 transactions at his Mount Waverley fish and chip shop.
Tim Brosnan swindled almost $300,000 from 38 transactions at his Mount Waverley fish and chip shop.

On Friday, Brosnan, 45, was convicted of swindling almost A$300,000 ($316,000) from fish and chip shop customers over four weeks  committed while he was on bail, already accused of defrauding his employer for A$1.9 million.

Brosnan, a reformed alcoholic and the son of a former nun and Christian Brother, charged his victims A$282,533 across 38 transactions at Tally Ho Fisherman's Wharf in Mount Waverley  an average of almost A$7500 per transaction.

Each of the dodgy charges were manually entered into the shop's Eftpos machine, the court heard. One staff member told police that on one occasion she saw Tim's wife, Kelly, take the machine from the shop front to the back office where she began punching in numbers.

Tim Brosnan describes himself as a 'chief financial officer at various businesses' on his LinkedIn.
Tim Brosnan describes himself as a 'chief financial officer at various businesses' on his LinkedIn.

Another customer reported to police that he had been charged A$7000 and A$8000 by Brosnan's takeaway shop.

Brosnan then withdrew more than A$200,000 in cash in the following weeks to pay for lawyers hired to defend him on accusations that he and another man siphoned A$1.9 million from Brosnan's previous employer into a personal bank account in 2010 and 2011.

Brosnan was sentenced to eight years in prison for the A$1.9 million fraud in 2017.

On Friday, Judge Julie Condon sentenced Brosnan to two more years after he pleaded guilty to obtaining financial advantage by deception. He will be eligible for parole in five years.

In her sentencing, Judge Condon pointed to a psychologists' assessment that concluded Brosnan has "features of a narcissistic and antisocial disorder" but did not have a mental illness.

She said Brosnan's admission of 107 dishonesty offences over 13 years was evidence his chances of rehabilitation "could only ever be described as guarded at best".

"I say that because your recent history does reveal & persistent and sustained dishonesty offending," she said.

Brosnan, wearing a loose-fitting white T-shirt, smiled at his wife in the gallery as he was led away after the sentence.

A former consultant and accountant, including for multinational Zurich, Judge Condon said Brosnan led a "blameless life" until 2004, when he was found guilty of 51 charges of theft aged 30.

He became an alcoholic around the same time, regularly consumed half a bottle of scotch and a case of beer a day until joining Alcoholics Anonymous in 2008, Judge Condon said.

Brosnan's lawyer, Rahmin de Kretser, previously told court the fish and chip shop scheme was "a final attempt by a man to avoid the consequences of his actions".

The victims have since been refunded by their banks.

A psychologist's assessment noted that Brosnan's "dysfunctional personality traits have grown from an overcompensation for your feelings of worthlessness and failure".

Brosnan openly admitted to his own "narcissism, entitlement and feelings of superiority", according to the assessment.

County Court judge Condon said it was "not until your current period of incarceration that the serious consequences of your behaviour finally dawned on you".

The Age

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