Queensland ISP Freenet director jailed for up to six years on fraud charges

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Queensland ISP Freenet director jailed for up to six years on fraud charges

The former director of a Queensland internet service provider has been jailed for a maximum of six years after pleading guilty to two fraud charges.

Jonathan William Parker was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment on the first fraud count, and three years on the second, to be served concurrently. The Queensland court also imposed a non-parole period of 16 months.

According to an investigation by ASIC, Parker dishonestly created false invoices between September 2011 and April 2012 in order to conceal more than $800,000 that belonged to his employer Freenet. The investigation also found that Parker had dishonestly used $140,000 that belonged to an investor in March 2012, when he was still a director the company.

ASIC commissioner John Price said the outcome should serve as a warning to corporate Australia.

“This is a significant outcome and should serve as a warning to corporate Australia that the community will not tolerate directors acting dishonestly to the detriment of their investors or consumers. There is a high risk your crime will be detected and investigated, and that you will be convicted and go to jail,” said Price.

Freenet was founded in 2010 on the promise of giving customers free global access to wireless broadband, funded by advertising. According to an ABC report, Parker raised close to $3 million between 2011 and 2012, and claimed to have backing by Google and Motorola. The company eventually appointed a liquidator in December 2014.

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