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DUMMY BUSINESSES BY TEENAGER SET UP TO FLEECE $300,000

A teenage computer whiz has pleaded guilty to an attempted $300,000 fraud involving an elaborate trail of dummy businesses.

The 15-year-old boy pleaded guilty to 33 counts of fraud and attempted fraud in the Perth Children’s Court today.

Prosecutor Simon Formby told the court the offences dated from March 10 to June 3 this year, when police executed a warrant at the boy’s home.

Mr Formby said the boy had a total of six registered business names which he used to open cheque accounts with various banks.

“He then wrote cheques that he knew would be dishonoured to either obtain property, pay debts or open further cheque accounts,” he said.

“Apparently this fellow was a bit of a computer whiz.”

Most of the cheques were dishonoured, but the teen pocketed $13,032 from the venture. The total figure of the attempted cheque fraud amounted to more than $300,000.

He also copied the credit card details of two customers at a fast food outlet at which he worked, and used the details to make unauthorised telephone transactions in June.

“These transactions were identified as unusual by bank security and the first was cancelled,” Mr Formby said.

“The details of the second credit card were used on July 3, the day the police warrant was executed.”

The boy successfully gained $5592 from the credit card transaction and attempted to use the credit card to gain $7176.

Mr Formby said the boy did not have any other criminal record but a custodial sentence would be appropriate.

The boy’s lawyer surrendered the boy’s passport and asked that he be sentenced by the Children’s Court president.

Magistrate Sue Gordon said the boy needed to realise he may be locked up for his crimes.

“Sometimes young people try these things because they can and they think they will get away with it,” Ms Gordon said.

Ms Gordon ordered a psychological report on the boy before he is sentenced next month.

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