Medical centre fraudster appeals four-year jail sentence

A MAN who transferred thousands of dollars intended to help buy the Fraser Shores Medical Centre into an interest-bearing account claims he was not dishonestly maintaining the funds.

Ronald James Richardson was sentenced to four years jail in February after a jury found him guilty of fraud.

Richardson, 58, was the owner of the Hervey Bay-based medical centre before he sold it to a doctor, who he had sponsored to work in Australia.

In 2008, he proposed to buy it back and put an offer of shares to potential investors.

But a jury found Richardson did not use the money he received from investors for its intended purpose to purchase the centre.

Richardson appealed his conviction in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

His barrister Michael Byrne QC submitted the jury could not consider all the evidence and be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt there was dishonesty in Richardson maintaining the funds.

Mr Byrne said there were discussions between the doctor and Richardson about the medical centre purchase.

But Philip McCarthy, for the Crown, said Richardson moved the funds quickly from one account to another.

He said Richardson could not provide $80,000 when asked despite taking payments from investors.

That lent support that he was using it for other purposes.

The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision.

Topics:  court of appeal fraser coast hervey bay medical centre

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