The appeal case of advertising scammer Peter Noel Anthony Sorensen has been dismissed by the Paramatta District Court, upholding his conviction for defrauding eight companies of $124,000.
Sorensen was found guilty of defrauding mining and services companies in 2013, after issuing false tax invoices for advertising services with magazines that did not exist.
Sorensen has been ordered to pay $100,000 compensation to the companies caught out by his scam, and he will serve a 15 month prison sentence with a non-parole period of six months and parole of nine months.
Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe commended government officers involved, and also applauded the mining companies that supported the Fair Trading investigation and legal action.
“This shows how laws provide appropriate criminal sanctions,” he said. “This was the first case where a sentence of imprisonment was imposed for a second or subsequent offence under the Australian Consumer Law. The provisions of the NSW Fair Trading Act relating to recidivous conduct were applied to achieve a custodial sentence,” he said.
Sorensen was convicted in October 2013 on 32 charges of ‘asserting right for payment for unsolicited services’, with 25 charges under the Australian Consumer Law and seven under the Fair Trading Act.
Last year NSW Fair Trading warned businesses not to deal with Sorensen after he issued more than 50 companies with invoices, trading under the name of ‘Commerce and Resource Productions’.
Sorensen had committed offenses while on a supervised bond in March 2013, and was later ordered to pay more than $96,000 in compensation to five mining companies, as well as fines totalling 40,000 and $3220 in costs.
The business name ‘Construction Mining and Resource Media’ was registered to Sorensen in 2009, and a number of other titles were used to conduct his scams.
It was believed Sorensen had taken in more than 100 different companies for $300,000.
Companies which agreed to go public to aid the investigation included Patrick Ports, Neumann Contactors, Bonacci Group, Hot Chili and Power Equipment, all of whom had paid invoices to Sorensen despite having never contracted his services.