Accountant in $250,000 fraud case

A FORMER Ipswich accountant has been committed to stand trial for allegedly defrauding more than $250,000 from clients and the tax office.

Brett Cameron Smallwood, 49, is charged with 28 counts of fraud which were alleged to have occurred on a number of occasions between November 23, 2004 and July 14, 2007.

The court was told Smallwood allegedly stole $250,476 and attempted to take a further $113,192 by dishonestly lodging BAS (business activities statements) which were false.

Smallwood, formerly of Ipswich accountancy firm Beecham Smallwood, allegedly banked tax returns belonging to clients into his business's trust account, where it was spent.

The amounts taken each time ranged from $3500 up to about $37,000 at a time.

On two occasions he allegedly tried to defraud more than $60,000 and $43,000.

The court was told the businesses innocently caught up in the alleged scam included The Coffee Club, Farm Fresh Transport, School of Arts Hotel, Benwood Property Pty Ltd and Century Towing among others.

He appeared at Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday and was ordered to stand trial at the Ipswich District Court on a date to be fixed.

Smallwood, who remains on bail, did not enter a plea when asked by Magistrate Michael Quinn if he'd like to say anything.

Topics:  fraud

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