His desperation to pay drug debts is what led to an unemployed Lavington man trying to scam $700 through selling a mobile phone that didn’t exist, a court has heard.
Bryson John Grigg had posted an online advertisement with Gumtree for a 128GB iPhone 7-Plus.
But police said Grigg never owned the phone and was simply chasing easy cash.
“At the time of this offence he was suffering from a drug addiction,” defence solicitor Joe Blackshield told Albury Local Court this week at Grigg’s sentence hearing.
Grigg’s victim saw the advertisement on October 12 and made inquiries about the phone, on which he and Grigg negotiated the price from $750 down to $700.
He directed the victim to make a payment via the online payments system PayPal.
The next day, Grigg sent a text message to the buyer to advise him that PayPal was “not happy” about a large sum of money transferred to his account.
Grigg told him he should instead make the payment by way of a bank account transfer.
He also said he would refund the $700 amount paid via PayPal.
The victim received a package on October 27. Inside was an empty Samsung Galaxy S7 box.
Police said the victim tried to contact Grigg, but was unsuccessful.
Grigg, they said, had no intention of sending the victim the phone, but “instead used the transaction as an insurance claim through his service provider for a new mobile phone handset”.
Mr Blackshield said it was clear that the case “should be viewed as a fraud on the insurance company” and not the man who tried to buy the bogus phone.
Since the incident, Grigg had done everything to put his drug-using days behind him, he said.
“This is clearly someone in the process of turning their life around,” Mr Blackshield said.
Grigg, 23, previously pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtain a financial advantage by deception.
Magistrate Rodney Brender said it was fortunate for Grigg that the amount of money involved “was relatively low”.
He placed Grigg on a 12-month good behaviour bond and convicted and fined him $1000.
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