A public servant who stole millions from Qld Health and passed off his wealth by claiming he was a Tahitian prince has failed to have his jail term cut.
The former public servant who siphoned millions from Queensland Health has failed in a bid to have his prison sentence reduced.
Joel Morehu-Barlow, 38, is serving a 14-year jail term for fraud after he stole $16.6 million from the state health department over four years when he worked there as a finance officer.
He explained his lavish lifestyle by telling friends he was a Tahitian prince.
Morehu-Barlow appealed the length of his sentence last year but the Court of Appeal on Friday refused the application.
The fraudster had argued that his sentence was manifestly excessive in part because a large share of the stolen money was recovered and the crime hadn’t had a significant impact on Queenslanders.
However, Court of Appeal Justice Hugh Fraser rejected the argument, saying the temporary loss of nearly $16.7 million and the permanent loss of about $5 million must have had a significant impact.
The judge said the extraordinarily large amount taken by Morehu-Barlow wasn’t the only factor the sentencing judge took into account, but also his breach of trust and his motivation of maintaining an extravagant lifestyle.
“The applicant’s sentence was not manifestly excessive and the sentencing judge did not make any of the errors contended for in the applicant’s ground of appeal,” he said in a written judgment.
Court of Appeal judges Robert Gotterson and Duncan McMeekin agreed.