A TRAVELLING salesman who ripped off his employer’s fuel card for more than $8700 has been ordered to reimburse the proceeds and perform unpaid community work.
Dimitrios Fotopoulos, 48, pleaded guilty to 35 offences relating to illegally using a Caltex Star Card 104 times at a number of service stations in greater Melbourne in 2013 and 2014, Dandenong Magistrates’ Court heard.
Invoices were sent from 34 Caltex stations including two each in Dandenong and Keysborough, as well as Doveton, Kooweerup, Narre Warren and Noble Park.
Fotopoulos claimed he had not stolen the card. It had been provided by his employer Samsung Australia for driving his car for work purposes, defence lawyer Adam Maloney told the court on 29 August.
Samsung had, however, told Mr Maloney it didn’t use that particular card, the court was told.
According to a police summary, the card had been misplaced by a La Trobe Valley plumbing business.
Police alleged Fotopoulos knew the card’s PIN from working at the plumbing firm as a service delivery driver.
Mr Maloney conceded Fotopoulos had used the card with “dishonest intentions” but did not have a gambling or drug addiction to blame.
Fotopoulos left Samsung in late 2014 – by his own choice – to be a full-time carer for his mother, Mr Maloney said.
In sentencing, magistrate Jack Vandersteen noted there had been a “breach of trust” by Fotopoulos, but took into account the accused’s age and the delay since the offences.
Fotopoulos was convicted and placed on a 12-month community order including 125 hours of unpaid work.
He was ordered to pay $8748.70 in compensation.
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