Milton Petrol Manager Jailed for Fraud and Money Laundering

A former manager of a prominent petrol station in Milton has been sentenced to a six-year jail term for his involvement in a complex web of fraud and money laundering.

In a recent legal verdict that has sent shockwaves through the Brisbane community, Carlos Adelino Henrique Ferreira, 59, who was also a president of a local athletics club, faced Brisbane District Court where he pleaded guilty to two counts of committing fraud as an employee and one count of money laundering.

Crown prosecutor Victoria Adams revealed that Mr Ferreira had exploited his position as the manager of a BP petrol station in Milton over eight years, from July 2015 to November 2019, to siphon more than $400,000 from his employer.

The Devious Scheme

Mr Ferreira’s fraudulent activities were carried out by undermining the established cash management systems of the petrol station. There were two safes on the premises, with the first requiring staff to use unique codes to access it. 

The second safe, used for exchanging larger notes, was intended for regular audits. However, Mr Ferreira instructed his staff to forgo these checks, instead depositing money into the less secure second safe. 

At the end of his shifts, he would then transfer these funds into accounts under his control, accumulating the substantial sum over four years. Mr Ferreira went to great lengths to conceal his deception by creating inaccurate daily reports to give the illusion that all financial transactions were in order.

Furthermore, Mr Ferreira engaged in a cunning cigarette-related fraud, recording transactions as low as 10 cents on the till when customers purchased cigarettes, pocketing the cash payments and sometimes retaining packets of cigarettes for himself. This deceptive practice cost the business over $10,000 across more than 560 transactions.

Laundering Through Community Involvement

Mr Ferreira utilised his position as the volunteer president of the Brisbane Athletics Club to launder the ill-gotten funds. The court heard that he diverted $10,000 from the club’s account.

Mr Ferreira’s barrister, Matthew Hynes, explained that he orchestrated this scheme by channeling the money through the athletics club’s accounts, his personal account, and another accessible account.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

His crimes came to light, resulting in his termination from the BP Milton station in November 2019. He faced legal repercussions for his actions, receiving fines in August 2023 for falsely claiming to be a qualified physiotherapist and treating patients while unqualified.

Judicial Sentencing and Final Reflections

Judge Jennifer Rosengren, presiding over the case, sentenced Mr Ferreira to six years in jail, highlighting the gravity of his offenses and his deliberate intent to take “a lot of money” from his employer. 

She emphasised that his actions were a clear violation of the trust placed in him by both his employer and the athletics club. Furthermore, his history of dishonesty and attempts to obtain a Portuguese passport while on bail raised doubts about his prospects for rehabilitation. 

Ferreira will become eligible for parole in September 2025.

Published 20-Dec-2023