A court has heard a man likely used a fake invoice to claim almost $5000-worth of items from an online auction company out of greed, before bragging about it to his girlfriend.
Ali Al Kinani used a name that was not his own to make an online account with AllBids, which resells products, and used it to successfully bid on several items worth around $4800, court documents say.
The items included an iPad Mini, cameras, lenses, a printing machine, tablets, a mobile phone and a computer.
Normally, successful bidders pay for items at AllBids’ storefront in Fyshwick where they are given a stamped invoice and take it to a warehouse where they receive their items.
But on 13 January 2021, Al Kinani went to the warehouse and gave staff a fake invoice for the items, which they accepted, unaware he hadn’t paid for them at their storefront.
He collected the items and texted his girlfriend shortly afterwards, during which she asked if AllBids had worked or not.
“Yeeeeeeehaaaaaaaa. Absolutely,” he replied.
“Bulls-t. Snap me the stuff you got,” she said.
AllBids noticed the items hadn’t been paid for and went to police, who raided Al Kinani’s homes later that year.
When brought before the ACT Magistrates Court for sentencing on Wednesday (2 November), lawyer Jacob Robertson said his 33-year-old client had lost his job as a painter during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 and this offending was “an act of desperation”.
Mr Robertson said Al Kinani was a refugee from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder who now worked as a painter on weekends. He also had an online cosmetic business.
Prosecutor Colin Balog argued that at about $4800, the monetary value of the items was not insignificant.
He also said Al Kinani must have been familiar with the business’s processes as he was able to craft an invoice that appeared legitimate and had later “bragged” about his plan to his girlfriend.
Special Magistrate Margaret Hunter said she thought the motivation was probably greed and it appeared Al Kinani had thought he would try out his offending to see if he got away with it.
Al Kinani, who lives between Downer and Griffith, pleaded guilty to a charge of obtaining property by deception.
Special Magistrate Hunter convicted and sentenced him to a 12-month good behaviour order with a $1000 fine.