Former restaurant owner, banker threw it all away for $23k

 

A Brisbane banker driven to the wall by a failed investment in a once prominent Darling Downs restaurant used his position at a Logan bank to forge a $23,000 cheque to satisfy a family friend hounding him for repayment of a personal loan.

Parkinson man Andrew Stanley Bauer, 51, a former consultant with Suncorp Browns Plains' stores and specialty department currently employed as insurance broker with Tingalpa firm The Insurance Centre, was charged with seven offences following his failed scheme in March last year.

They include three counts each of forgery and making a false entry in a record, and one count of uttering a forged document.

Beenleigh Magistrates Court heard Bauer, a married father of three children, had been pushed to the wall by the 2013 liquidation of his Toowoomba restaurant Platform 9, which he opened in 2010.

Parkinson insurance broker Andrew Stanley Bauer, 51, leaving Beenleigh Magistrates Court. Picture: Alex Treacy
Parkinson insurance broker Andrew Stanley Bauer, 51, leaving Beenleigh Magistrates Court. Picture: Alex Treacy

After his restaurant failed, he moved his family to Brisbane to seek a new start in 2014 and in May 2017 secured a position at Suncorp.

Shortly after, in August, Mr Bauer was declared bankrupt and on October 24 he obtained a $22,000 loan from a family friend in order to stave off repossession of his family home and vehicle.

By early 2019, the friend became agitated at the lack of repayment and Bauer attempted to access his superannuation to keep the wolves at bay, but delays in this process meant he was driven to a point of "desperation" which precipitated his offending.

The court heard Bauer entered false information into an internal Suncorp system in order to print off the cheque.

He only intended to print one cheque, but mistakes he made meant it was only on his third attempt he was successful, leading to the three counts each of forgery and making a false entry in a record.

Bauer was caught and subsequently fired in May last year when the family friend attempted to cash the cheque at another bank and discrepancies were detected.

Defence lawyer Lucy Ferguson told the court Bauer never intended for the cheque to be cashed, rather that the family friend would hold on to it as evidence that Bauer had the money and would repay the amount.

She told the court her client had about $8000 left to repay of the loan from his friend and was making payments in monthly instalments.

He will be discharged from his bankruptcy in the coming months.

The court heard Bauer had no criminal history before this offending.

He was handed a 12-month suspended sentence with an operational period of two years.

Originally published as Respected banker threw it all away for $23,000


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