Jail time handed to fraudster who conned Burnett businesses
SMALL town fraudster, Aaron John Taylor – also known as Tristan Taylor – used a fake name to part several local business in the South Burnett area with their property and swindle his neighbours out of their earnings, a court heard.
Taylor pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud, two counts of impersonation, and one count of passing cheque not met on presentation before Kingaroy Magistrates Court today (October 8).
On June 29, 2013, Taylor attended a business in Wondai to purchase landscaping goods to the value of $35.70. He provided the owner with an ANZ cheque, which was subsequently dishonoured, meaning the cheque bounced due to insufficient funds, a signature mismatch, overwriting, etc.
The owners were then charged a $15 dishonour fee and Taylor never returned to pay for the items, despite the victim delivering letters asking for payment straight to his mailbox.
On September 29, 2020, Taylor returned to the same business to purchase mushroom soil mix, natural river rock and mushroom compost.
He went to pay for the goods and told the owners his name was ‘Tristan’ Taylor and provided them with a mobile number. He said he did not have cash and was given the bank details of the victims business to deposit money directly into that account.
Taking out his mobile, Taylor told the owners he’d transferred the $270 owed, and gave a receipt number, which appeared suspiciously long to the informant. Checking the account, the complainant’s realised only $27 had been transferred, and the deposit was from ‘Aaron’ Taylor. Realising they’d dealt with the same offender from 2013, the owners attempted to contact Taylor to no avail.
According to defence Lawyer Mark Oliver, Taylor claims to suffer from short sightedness or Myopia, which he attributes to his failure to type in the correct amount.
Mr Oliver said Taylor’s behaviour can also be attributed to depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, as well as nerve damage, which effects his neck and legs.
On Christmas Eve, 2019, Taylor went to pick up four small hide whips from a hobby business at Tingoora. He said he didn’t have cash at the time and assured the victim he’d transfer the $280 owed directly into his bank account. He appeared to do this on his mobile, before providing the victim with a receipt number, which he described as “suspiciously long”.
The money was never transferred, and despite sending Taylor a number of texts asking for payment, he received no reply.
In August, 2020, the victim spotted Taylor at the ALDI supermarket in Kingaroy. Upon seeing the complainant, he immediately fled the store.
In April, 2020, the defendant introduced himself as ‘Tristan’ Taylor to a Wondai resident, with the intent to buy ten railway sleepers for $500 cash. In May, he arrived at the victim's property, loaded the sleepers into his trailer, and assured him he’d return shortly to pay for them.
When he failed to return, the victim attended the Taylor’s address, where he discovered Taylor’s real name. According to the complainant, the defendant told him his name was Tristan Taylor, but people called him Aaron Taylor. He claimed to have already paid for the sleepers, saying he’d already handed a check to the victims father.
He returned to Taylor’s address the next morning to receive payment from his wife.
At 44-years-old, Taylor’s has an extensive criminal history, with previous convictions extending to larceny, obtaining money by deception, 28 counts of fraud, 13 counts of stealing, burglary, stealing a motor vehicle, enter premises, enter premises and commit indictable offence, leaving hotel without payment, bringing stolen goods into Queensland etc.
On October 5, a search warrant of the defendants Wondai property revealed a large quantity of river rock, which had been placed in the garden, one of the whips, and the railway sleepers. Taylor was subsequently arrested.
“The purpose that sentences are passed, then and now, is set out in the penalties and sentences act,” Magistrate Andrew Sinclair said.
“There are only five purposes for which a person can be sentenced: one is to punish, one is to rehabilitate, one is to deter you and others, one is to denounce, and the last is to protect the community.”
“This offending, at first might appear to be low end, but in all these circumstances, you’ve taken from small business owners who are attempting to make a living.”
According to Magistrate Sinclair, in the past, Taylor had already served more than 20 months in prison for stealing and fraud offences.
“What makes it serious is the fact that after so many times of being sent to prison, it has not yet sunk in. To commit such brazen offences, in the area where you live, is likely to end up with you sent to prison again and again and again.
“I’m not sending you to prison today, you’re sending yourself to prison.”
In relation to the June 29, 2013, offence Taylor was convicted and not further punished. He was ordered to pay $35.70 compensation.
For the December 2019 offence, he was sentenced to six months in prison and order to pay $280 compensation.
For each of the offences committed in May 2020, he was sentenced to six months in prison.
September 29 offences, he was sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay $443 in compensation.
All prison sentences are concurrent, adding up to head sentence of six months.
The sentence will be suspended after two months, for a period of 18 months. This means he’ll spend two months behind bars, and have the final four months hanging over his head for a further 18 months.
All conviction were recorded.