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Car salesman steals $35,000

A FORMER Grafton used car salesman has admitted embezzling more than $35,000 in cash from his employer.

David Johnathon Hales, 39, was calm when he appeared at Grafton Local Court yesterday on 41 dishonesty charges.

He pleaded guilty to all charges and will be sentenced in Grafton in September.

Hales turned himself in to police in May this year after spending two years on the run.

Police had been searching for the salesman since he disappeared from Grafton in April 2006, leaving a trail of fraud behind him.

On the day he disappeared, Hales took a vehicle from the dealership and drove to Brisbane Airport.

Without telling his wife, parents or employer where he was going, Hales caught a plane to England and stayed for two years.

After Hales left, his employers began investigating his transactions and found evidence of dishonesty.

Police were contacted and a full investigation launched. It was then discovered that Hales had been regularly defrauding the car dealership.

Mighty River Automotives owner Peter Spratt is seeking compensation for his business of almost $40,000.

The court was told Hales used his role as used car manager to fraudulently obtain money from when he started in July 2005 to his disappearance in April 2006.

In most instances, he charged buyers a deposit or delivery fee of between $100 and $3000 which he then pocketed without telling the business.

He covered his tracks by altering the accounts records.



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