A FORMER Wodonga telephone communications businessman yesterday received an 18-month suspended sentence over two fraud offences committed five years ago.
Robert Ablinger appeared in the County Court at Wodonga for sentencing on two counts of obtaining property by deception.
Ablinger, 44, of Point Cook, pleaded guilty last week to the matters before Judge Michael Bourke.
One involved St John’s Retirement Village at Wangaratta, which paid $207,460 for a communications system.
The other charge involved a $64,680 fraud on a finance company.
Judge Bourke said Ablinger was charged with several offences in March and April 2011 and made some admissions.
He pleaded not guilty after a committal hearing before last week pleading guilty to an amended indictment with some charges withdrawn.
The first offence happened in June 2008 and the other in November-December that year.
Judge Bourke said Ablinger was running a phone and communication systems business.
He received money from a finance company, which was paid into his own account.
Ablinger received money to provide a new communications system at St John’s Retirement Village in Wangaratta.
Judge Bourke said most of the money was paid into Ablinger’s account when the business was failing and it went into liquidation in 2009.
He declared himself bankrupt last year.
“The loss you caused is not clearly identified but must be considered as significant,” Judge Bourke said.
“You currently work part-time for a communications business.
“There has been a delay of approximately five years since this offending.”
Judge Bourke said there had been no further offending by Ablinger and no application had been received by the court for compensation.
“This is serious offending, you have caused considerable harm,” he said.
Judge Bourke said he had decided to impose a period of imprisonment but that it would be suspended.
Ablinger received a 12-month suspended sentence on each charge with six months cumulative.
The suspended sentence remains in force for two years.