An elderly scammer spent $750,000 on a luxury yacht after defrauding Australians through a cold-call syndicate.
Robert Gordon Stewart, 76, admitted receiving $830,000 in the scam, and was sentenced to five years behind bars in Southport District Court on Wednesday.
However, Judge Catherine Muir ordered he be released after serving 20 months because of his age and poor health.
The money was traced through a cold-call syndicate operating in 2014, but investigators could not link Stewart directly with the scam.
‘But the sheer amount of money … indicated the defendant knew where the money was coming from,’ prosecutor Matt Hynes told the court.
The elderly man spent $750,000 on a 70-foot yacht, but has now been left with just $32 to his name (stock image)
Stewart dishonestly received about $832,000 for himself through the scam, a portion of which was spent buying a $750,000, 70-foot luxury motor yacht.
Judge Muir said Stewart took deliberate steps to conceal his involvement in the scam.
‘The way in which the money was withdrawn and reinvested, it was clear that this money was obtained by fraudulent means,’ Judge Muir said.
He admitted receiving tainted property by way of an act constituting a crime.
Stewart has a lengthy criminal history across Queensland, NSW and Victoria for offences with dishonesty, fraud and operating while bankrupt.
‘You paid these two other people for their services which allowed you to remain one step removed from the handling of the money,’ Judge Muir told the court.
‘In that sense your offending was serious.’
His crimes date back more than 50 years but Stewart is now broke with just $32 to his name, Southport District Court heard.
Robert Gordon Stewart, 76, admitted receiving tainted property by way of an act constituting a crime and was given a head sentence of five years in Southport District Court (pictured) on Wednesday