australian dollars
australian dollars

Dodgy IDs used to scam almost $30,000

AN ICE-ADDICTED painter who used dodgy identification to defraud banks and an electronics store out of almost $30,000 was caught red-handed when police checked his wallet while he was unconscious in a hospital bed.

Matthew Lee Hema, 32, of Southport used stolen and false licences, Medicare and bank cards to apply for credit cards and loans through Gold Coast banks and JB Hi-Fi.

Hema used the cash and sold the electronics obtained to fuel an addiction to methamphetamines (ice) between December last year and April this year.

The money and electronics have not been recovered.

The money and electronics have not been recovered.
The money and electronics have not been recovered.

Facing Southport Magistrates Court on Monday, Hema pleaded guilty to eight charges, including frauds, dealing with another entity's identity identification and unlawful possession of suspected stolen property.

He was on a suspended sentence, probation and parole during much of his offending and his criminal history included similar behaviour.

Prosecutor Joel Sleep told the court police were called when Hema ended up in hospital on April 16.

Officers arrived to find Hema unconscious and they discovered a wallet containing cards with various names, which did not belong to Hema.

On one occasion in April, Hema used fake ID to obtain approval for a credit card and successfully withdrew about $21,800

Mr Sleep said prison was the only option available to the court and Magistrate Ron Kilner said Hema's offending "seems to be escalating".

Matthew Lee Hema, 32, faced Southport Magistrates Court in custody on Monday.
Matthew Lee Hema, 32, faced Southport Magistrates Court in custody on Monday.

Defence lawyer Jodi Allen told the court Hema had been offending "to fund his drug habit" and a representative from Probation and Parole said Hema failed a recent drug test.

Ice and amphetamines were detected and Hema admitted to using liquid fantasy (GHB).

Hema had been seeing a psychologist but needed more help to overcome addiction.

Ms Allen said Hema's partner, who watched on from the back of court, was supportive but his latest escapade was "the last straw".

She burst into tears when Hema was eventually sent to prison.

Mr Kilner told Hema "innocent people are entitled to have their property protected".

Hema was jailed for two years and restitution was ordered.

He will be eligible for parole on May 2, 2020.



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