Fraud investigation, State Crime Command

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group have charged a 61-year-old man with fraud after executing a search warrant at a Beaconsfield residence yesterday.

Between May 2006 and April 2018, the man, who was then the sole practitioner of a Brisbane-based law firm, had allegedly misappropriated around $427,000 from 37 clients that had deposited into the law firm’s trust account.

A protracted investigation commenced in September 2018 after receiving information from an industry body.

Detective Acting Superintendent Vince Byrnes of the Financial and Cyber Crime Group urged the community to be vigilant to this type of offending.

“Misuse of trust account funds is a serious offence, and the alleged offending in this case is very concerning and a serious abuse of trust,” Detective Acting Superintendent Vince Byrnes said.

“Our investigation and this arrest demonstrates the Queensland Police Service’s commitment to pursuing this type of alleged offending and those persons responsible.

“This investigation highlights the focused relationship between the Queensland Police Service and the Queensland Law Society to ensure the integrity and professionalism of the Queensland legal profession is maintained. Police encourage members of the public to continue to report any suspicious activity to police and the Queensland Law Society.”

The 61-year-old Beaconsfield man has charged with one count of fraud and is due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on February 27.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via 24hrs per day.

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