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Fraudster Hamish McLaren sentenced to 16 years jail

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Hamish McLaren born Hamish Watson stole $7.6 million from 15 victims over a period of years.

Before the crimes for which he was sentenced, McLaren had swindled people in the US, Canada, Britain, and Hong Kong.

Yesterday, he was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 12 years.

Judge Charteris found that McLaren was unrepentant and had no genuine remorse for his crimes:

“His letter (read to the court last week) does not remote­ly persuade me that this man is sorry.

“I do not believe he has any ­remorse, I believe he is consumed by himself. He is driven by stealing the money of other citizens, all of whom trusted him. The focus was on his own wellbeing so he could live the high life, spending others’ retirement savings.”

Finding that this was the worst variety of white collar crime, Judge Charteris noted that:

“If the ­offender has received massive disapproval from the community — it’s appropriate that he should do so,

“How could he stand by and see people draw down their life super funds to be given to him? His ­behaviour is the most reprehensi­ble one can imagine having ­regards to offences of this nature.”

$5.4M has never been recovered.


QLD Criminal lawyers accused of criminality

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Adam Magill3

Some high profile Queensland criminal defence lawyers are being accused of serious fraud offences:

“A cadre of high-profile Brisbane criminal defence lawyers have been charged with defrauding the taxpayer-funded Legal Aid Queensland and laundering money for “serious and organised crime”.

The lawyers — Adam Magill, Corey Mullen and Mitchell Cunningham, all of whom worked at law firm Lawler Magill — and another man were arrested yesterday following an 18-month joint investigation codenamed “Operation Stockade”.

More arrests were expected overnight.

The Crime and Corruption Commission alleged some of the men were involved in defrauding Legal Aid Queensland of about $340,000, and fraud by failing to deposit more than $765,000 into a trust account.

Investigators also alleged some of the men laundered the proceeds of serious criminal offences.”

If these charges are proven, these lawyers may be spending time in prison with some of their former clients. In fact, one of them maybe already has:

“Mr Magill, 47 — a former policeman whose clients have included footballer Karmichael Hunt and Hells Angels member Chris Bloomfield — will appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court today on counts of aggravated fraud, fraudulent falsification of records and aggravated money laundering. He has been remanded in custody.”

Magill has this morning been granted bail on strict conditions. The allegations are denied.

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