Crypto-currency Bitcoin subject of bouncing cheque scam
A SERIAL scam artist was caught using valueless cheques in an attempt to cash in on the latest crypto-currency fad.
In November 2016, 21-year-old Caleb Robert Fuhrmann's first victim was a person trading in Bitcoin via website localbitcoins.com, a court heard.
Fuhrmann had agreed to buy $5250 of the digital currency and once he'd deposited a cheque into their account, asked the seller to transfer the Bitcoin.
The seller grew suspicious when the funds hadn't cleared and contacted the bank, which told them the cheque - written in the name C Williams - was valueless.
Police were contacted and Fuhrmann was identified through CCTV depositing the funds into an ATM.
Then in December Fuhrmann used the same cheque scam, but this time against a person selling a phone for $650.
The victim handed Fuhrmann over the phone after it appeared money for the item had been deposited, but the bank reversed the funds as the cheque bounced.
Police later tracked Fuhrmann to a resort on the Gold Coast where he'd checked in using a forged licence under the name of Timothy J Slater.
He yesterday pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court to four charges including fraud and attempted fraud.
The court heard Fuhrmann had a history of "drug misuse" and a large prison term hanging over his head as he was sentenced for drug trafficking and dishonesty matters in the Supreme Court earlier this year.
Because these crimes took place around the same time Fuhrmann committed the offences which saw him face the Supreme Court, magistrate Haydn Stjernquist ordered him to be convicted, but not further punished.
Fuhrmann was also ordered to pay back $650.