Woman's 'bizarre' excuse for fraud crimes

TRAVELLER and self-claimed victim of identity theft Charisse May Bogaars packed a bag and drove north to Queensland to commit a series of frauds.

But the reason she gave an Ipswich court for the fraud was "to gain insight" into why people had committed frauds against her. Ipswich Magistrate Donna MacCallum said the reason was "bizarre".

Bogaars, 31, from Norlane (Geelong) pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud; four counts of attempted fraud; and possession of tainted property - $1319.95 cash.

Prosecutor Sergeant Nicholas Turnbull said her offences, which were essentially a crime spree, were committed this month and although not large in actual money involved, had been ongoing and protracted.

Defence lawyer Zara Rudan said Bogaars instructed she came to Queensland to escape identity theft in Victoria.

"She says her ID was stolen and her cards used to buy property and that large loans had been taken out in her name," Ms Rudan said.

"She drove here with limited clothes and money for a new start. She offers no excuse for her actions but thought she'd gain insight into what people did to her."

When Ms MacCallum queried the reason given, Ms Rudan replied that this was Bogaars legal instructions.

"The instructions you gave to your solicitor as to the reasons why you did this is entirely bizarre," Ms MacCallum said to Bogaars.

"People don't go out to commit offences to know what it's like. You know what it's like as a victim."

She said Bogaars had put items through the self-serve checkouts at various stores, put $100 notes into the machines then claimed she had only received partial change.

"However on four occasions (fraud attempt offences) these businesses were not hoodwinked and eight did hand over money, around $80 or $90," she said.

Bogaars was sentenced to six months' jail, suspended for 18 months. The $1319.95 police found on her was forfeited.



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