Two Melbourne mothers who used their friends’ identities to defraud car finance companies of almost $1 million have been jailed.
Former nurse Dorinda Balsillie and Meaghan Ellen Doyle, a finance broker, met in 2008 when Balsillie applied for the landscape gardening business she ran with her husband.
The two became friends and then went on to exploit acquaintances and Doyle’s knowledge of the financial services industry to gain more than $900,000 worth of car financing.
Victorian County Court Judge Christopher Ryan said after the pair were caught they each tried to blame the other for the crime.
Balsillie, 43, of Oakleigh, sought to paint Doyle as driver of the enterprise, he said.
Doyle, 44, of Melton, emphasised the majority of money was paid into Balsillie’s account.
Judge Ryan said he did not accept Balsillie’s claims she knew nothing of business as her landscaping company turned over $2 million and she had acted as the banker in the crimes.
But it was Doyle’s credentials that enabled them to execute the fraud, he said on Thursday.
Both pleaded guilty to five charges of obtaining property by deception and two charges of attempting the same crime.
Doyle also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of obtaining property by deception.
Judge Ryan said Balsillie had a good chance for rehabilitation but the prospects for Doyle, who suffers from a psychological condition, were more guarded.
“It appears when you are pressed for money you turn to fraud,” Judge Ryan told Doyle.
“You are a dishonest person.”
It worked in Balsillie’s favour that she had been doing charity work to support women with ovarian cancer, having being diagnosed with the disease herself in 2005, Judge Ryan said.
He sentenced Balsillie to four years and six months jail, with a non-parole period of two years and six months.
He sentenced Doyle to five years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of two years and nine months.
Both women shook and cried as they were sentenced.