Added by Gary Dunn on March 1, 2011
Scores of eBay users have been defrauded by a Brisbane schoolboy, whose fraud was only discovered after he accidentally received $2 million into one of his fake bank accounts.
During the period December 2008 to December 2009, the then Year 12 St Laurence’s College student Philip Heggie, 19, used 119 Suncorp bank accounts in different names to defraud 99 eBay – an auction website – users who paid Heggie for mobile phones and electronics they never received.
On Tuesday, the Brisbane District Court and crown prosecutor Patrina Clohessy heard Heggie plead guilty to more than 100 charges of fraud, attempted fraud and breach of bail.
The elaborate scheme was unravelled when some $2 million accidentally ended up in one of the fake accounts set up by Heggie. When he tried to withdraw $5,000 from this account, a teller became suspicious and notified police.
As a result, police found fake IDs, a signature block of a justice of the peace and other items used to forge documents.
According to Judge Kerry O’Brien, Heggie’s most concerning offence was his eBay scam, which he initiated after his real eBay account was frozen as a result of debt.
Heggie’s defence lawyer, however, reminded the court that he was only a “young boy” who thought “all of his Christmases had come at once”.
Heggie was sentenced to three years in prison, however he will be eligible for parole next Friday.