Men jailed in fish fraud case

TWO men have been jailed after they defrauded Huon Aquaculture of $750,000 in a fish pen cleaning rort.

Denis Ross Tringrove, 54, and Robin Glen Fahey, 59, faced the Hobart Supreme Court for sentencing on Friday.

A jury found each man guilty of 43 counts of dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage and one count of attempting to acquire a financial advantage.

Justice Shan Tennent ordered the men to jointly repay Huon Aquaculture $750,000.

However, she noted evidence at the trial had shown the likelihood of Huon Aquaculture recovering its entire loss was ``very slim'', although there was no suggestion that either Fahey nor Tringrove needed the money.

Justice Tennent jailed Tringrove for four years, and Fahey for four years and nine months.

The men will be eligible for parole when they have served half their sentences.

Their offending occurred between December 9, 2006, and November 17, 2008.

Fahey had worked for Huon Aquaculture for about 10 years, and was the logistics manager at the time.

He hired Tringrove, whom he had known for many years, to clean fish pens.

During that time, Fahey authorised prompt payment of Tringrove's invoices.

The invoiced amounts varied from $16,000 to $19,000.

The company paid a total of $825,000, including GST, to Tringrove.

Huon Aquaculture became suspicious in late 2008 and examined its costs.

Company owners concluded that the work for which Tringrove had provided invoices had not been done, and suspected this was an arrangement between Tringrove and Fahey.

Justice Tennent told Fahey he had played a key role.

``Your position with the company was senior enough and you were clearly trusted enough to be allowed to hire Mr Tringrove without approval, and to then authorise payment of all his invoices and quickly,'' she said.

``By its verdict the jury has accepted that none of the invoiced work was done and that what was occurring was you Mr Fahey, were authorising payment of Mr Tringrove's invoices and those invoices were being paid.

``After or at the time they were paid, Mr Tringrove was paying a proportion of the money paid to him, to you.''

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