A Perth accountant who fraudulently obtained more than $246,000 by diverting client tax refunds to his personal bank account has been sentenced to four years in prison.
Shane Paul Read, 33, committed the offences between May 2016 and July 2017 when he worked for Finkelstein Hickmott, later explaining: “It was financial hardship. I was on drugs. I was gambling. I had debts everywhere”.
Read was sentenced on Thursday in the West Australian District Court, which heard he was “ripping off the next client to pay back the last client”.
“His plan was always that it would go unnoticed, essentially, and that he would be able to pay back the funds without anyone being any the wiser,” defence counsel Stephen Preece said.
“It’s not a case where he was trying to accumulate more and more funds, and add to the pot of the money that he was taking.”
Read must spend at least two years behind bars before he can be eligible for parole.