Real police catch fraudster

A 21-YEAR-OLD Adelaide man, who pretended to be a detective to fraudulently obtain thousands of dollars, has been jailed after the real police eventually caught up with him.

Samuel Mark Smith impersonated detectives on three occasions in early 2009, where he approached computer shops and asked for benefits "by pretending to be part of an arm of the protective service".

Altogether, he obtained some $28,000.

Smith pleaded guilty in Brisbane's District Court to 25 offences - 21 fraud and 4 attempted fraud - committed from late 2008 to late 2009.

Judge Brian Devereaux noted Smith's disturbing criminal history, given his relatively young age.

"Your offending represents a very concerning wide range of activities, misrepresenting yourself in shops, including entering into arrangements for government departments, that you were a detective," Mr Devereaux said.

"Although there is a considerable amount of money involved - around $28,000 - that doesn't tell all the seriousness of the offences."

Mr Devereaux noted, however, that while in custody Smith had completed courses in an attempted to improve himself.

Smith was jailed for three years, to be suspended after 12 months for 3 years.

He has already served 78 days in custody.



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