A FORMER Hervey Bay businessman has been fined $10,000 for taking money for work boots and high-visibility shirts which customers never received.
The case was heard before Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Thursday after an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.
John Trevelyan Radonic, former owner of Hervey Bay businesses Workwear and Boots Discount Direct, and Signature Uniforms, both of which have since closed down, pleaded guilty to 20 counts of wrongly accepting payment under Australian Consumer Law.
The court heard between March 2017 and June 2017, Mr Radonic failed to fulfil multiple orders made to both businesses after accepting payment.
Consumers who had paid for goods either received no products or only partially completed orders.
This included 16 consumers who paid for work boots but never received them.
Another consumer ordered 48 hi-visibility shirts but did not receive a portion of their order which cost about $152.
The court further heard that throughout this time consumers were unable to get into contact with Mr Radonic.
Mr Radonic's representative told the court the defendant had moved to Hobart.
In total, affected consumers were out of pocket $5940 due to the actions of Mr Radonic.
Other consumers were able to lodge a dispute with their financial institution to receive reimbursements totalling $1281.
In sentencing, Magistrate Guttridge considered Mr Radonic's early guilty plea and noted the trader had refunded consumers the day before court proceedings.
• A full court report will feature in Monday's paper.