Elderly Qld man pocketed $800k from scam

A 76-year-old man has pleaded guilty to receiving tainted property through a cold-call scam.
A 76-year-old man has pleaded guilty to receiving tainted property through a cold-call scam.

An elderly man who defrauded Australians of more than $830,000 through a cold-call syndicate will serve 20 months behind bars.

Robert Gordon Stewart, 76, admitted receiving tainted property by way of an act constituting a crime and was given a head sentence of five years in Southport District Court on Wednesday.

However, Judge Catherine Muir ordered he be released after serving 20 months because of his age and poor health,

The money was traced through a cold-call syndicate operating in 2014, but investigators could not link Stewart directly with the scam.

"But the sheer amount of money ... indicated the defendant knew where the money was coming from," prosecutor Matt Hynes told the court.

Stewart dishonestly received about $832,000 for himself through the scam, a portion of which was spent buying a $750,000, 70-foot luxury motor yacht.

Judge Muir said Stewart took deliberate steps to conceal his involvement in the scam.

"The way in which the money was withdrawn and reinvested, it was clear that this money was obtained by fraudulent means," Judge Muir said.

Australian Associated Press