Le­gal trio on fraud charges

Top lawyer faces 10 years in jail

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - KAY DIBBEN

BRIS­BANE crim­i­nal lawyer Michael Boss­cher has been charged with ag­gra­vated fraud, along with a Boss­cher Lawyers so­lic­i­tor, and the law clerk son of a Queens­land mag­is­trate.

Boss­cher, 48, so­lic­i­tor Alex Jones, 32, and Tom Strofield, 29, a for­mer law clerk with the firm, were ar­rested yes­ter­day and taken to the Bris­bane Watch­house.

They each face a charge of ag­gra­vated fraud re­lated to more than $30,000, which car­ries a max­i­mum penalty of 14 years.

Boss­cher was also charged with eight counts of fraud­u­lent fal­si­fi­ca­tion of records, which has a max­i­mum penalty of 10 years’ im­pris­on­ment.

The Bris­bane law firm was raided last year as part of a Crime and Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion and Queens­land Po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion of sus­pected crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity in the le­gal pro­fes­sion.

The ag­gra­vated fraud charges re­late to “dis­hon­estly ap­ply­ing prop­erty” val­ued be­tween $30,000 and $100,000 that is sub­ject to a trust, di­rec­tion or con­di­tion, or on ac­count of an­other per­son.

For­mer Boss­cher Lawyers so­lic­i­tor Tim Mee­han was jailed in July for 5½ years – with pa­role el­i­gi­bil­ity after 18 months – for ag­gra­vated fraud re­lated to more than $30,000, and eight counts of fraud­u­lently fal­si­fy­ing records.

Bris­bane Supreme Court heard Mee­han, who pleaded guilty, went to the CCC in Septem­ber last year – a month after he was sacked from Boss­cher Lawyers – mak­ing al­le­ga­tions against for­mer col­leagues.

He had taken cash pay- ments from clients, per­son­ally re­ceiv­ing more than $200,000, the court was told.

Boss­cher, a so­lic­i­tor since 1994, has han­dled many ma­jor crim­i­nal cases for Boss­cher Lawyers, in­clud­ing white-col­lar crime cases. Jones, a Boss­cher Lawyers share­holder, has worked for the firm since 2008.

For­mer Boss­cher Lawyers law clerk, Tom Strofield, who has most re­cently worked for Han­nay Lawyers, is the son of Mag­is­trate Colin Strofield, who has no con­nec­tion to the charges.

Chris Han­nay, di­rec­tor of Han­nay Lawyers, said he was un­able to com­ment as the mat­ter was be­fore the CCC.

Boss­cher, Jones, Strofield and Boss­cher Lawyers could not be con­tacted for com­ment.

The CCC is con­tin­u­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

SCRU­TINY: Lawyer Michael Boss­cher. Pic­ture: Liam Kid­ston

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