A 50-year-old Millthorpe man who pleaded guilty to creating more than $50,000 worth of false loans told Bathurst Local Court yesterday he had no idea what happened to the money.
Stephen John Besgrove, of Pilcher Street, Millthorpe, was sentenced to two years in prison by Magistrate Roger Prowse.
He had pleaded guilty to creating false loans on behalf of City Finance and then presenting cheques drawn on those loans on 28 occasions.
The offences occured between March 10, 2011 and August 8, 2011 when Besgrove was a regional manager of Dominion Securities, trading as City Finance.
Besgrove, who was unrepresented, admitted to carrying out the offences, but could not remember doing it and did not know where the money had gone.
The magistrate asked why Besgrove did not have a lawyer and he said he couldn’t afford one. He then asked if he had accessed legal aid and Besgrove said his wife earnt too much money.
Mr Prowse asked him if he could think of any reason why he shouldn’t be sent to jail and Besgrove said that he could not.
“Neither can I,” Mr Prowse said.
The magistrate said this was a calculated crime carried out over a long period of time in which he stole the identities of 26 people.
“One of these people rang and complained, which led to the house of cards falling over,” Mr Prowse said.
“If I’d snaffled $51,000 I’d have some idea where it went,” he said.
Besgrove said it was his understanding the cheques were written out to cash and he had presented them to the National Australia Bank.
“It’s all very sketchy. I went off my meds because I thought I was alright,” he said.
He said his mental state kept deteriorating until he was walking around in a daze and was ultimately hospitalised.
“On 28 occasions you presented cheques obtaining $51,300 in cash that you weren’t entitled to. You did this by securing a position at this company,” Mr Prowse said.
He said the offences carried a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and he considered this was in the mid range in terms of seriousness.