Software company a sham

A beneficiary from Mosgiel managed to persuade a woman he was a high-flying software developer working for Microsoft.

Adam Leigh McLellan (23) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday having admitted one charge of forgery.

The conman, who has 13 previous convictions to his name, met the victim at the start of last year.

By February they had formed a business making applications for android smartphones.

But it was all a lie.

McLellan had convinced the woman of his technological skills and there was a verbal agreement he would provide software expertise while she funded the venture.

The defendant told her he worked for IT behemoth Microsoft.

In reality, he lives at home with his parents and survives on social welfare, the court heard.

McLellan told the victim he needed an electronic tablet for personal use, which he could buy for $245 through his links to Microsoft. Days later, she transferred the money to the defendant’s account.

Two weeks later, McLellan requested another $15 for "customs charges", which she also deposited.

By March, the sham business folded and the victim asked the man for invoices for the various services paid for while the company was operating.

McLellan forged four fake invoices for computer and technology goods from "VPS City, Google Adense, Cloudflare and Microsoft", using the company logos to make them look authentic.  The woman checked with  Microsoft, which confirmed the invoice was indeed a fake.

Counsel Shardae Oliver said her client had since repaid the $260 he owed the victim.

She accepted the offending was somewhat sophisticated but stressed McLellan had been offence-free for two years.

The court heard he was suffering a "major depressive disorder" and was soon due to be a father.

Judge John Macdonald said the defendant had been subjected to a range of community-based penalties in the past.

"The fact you are here might suggest these sentences have not had the desired effect," he said.

"Fortunately this was relatively minor. Having said that ...  what you did had quite some impact on the victim."

McLellan was sentenced to three months’ home detention and 80 hours’ community work.

Add a Comment